How to Identify the Difference Between the Flu and COVID-19
With the cold and flu season arriving, there can be much confusion about the difference between the flu and COVID-19. It is important to continue to practice the safety precautions you have been doing since the pandemic started to spread back in March, including:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Wearing a face mask when shopping and in public.
- Attempting to maintain at least six feet of social distancing space between you and others.
- Limiting outings and contact with people outside your home.
- Limiting social gatherings to not more than six people in your group.
The problem with the cold, flu, and COVID-19 is they can have similar symptoms that can make it difficult to determine what illness you might have. Let’s break the similarities down, along with the differences.
Similarities of Colds, the Flu, and COVID-19
Each of these illnesses is caused by viruses. Viruses can spread through the air from coughing, sneezing, breathing, and touching, such as touching a surface where the virus is still present and then rubbing one’s eyes.
Other similarities of these viruses include:
- A fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
- Body chills that can come and go.
- A constant headache that just won’t go away.
- Coughing, sneezing, and a runny or stuffy nose.
- A sore, scratchy throat.
- Problems breathing that can include shortness of breath and wheezing.
- Body aches and pain, including muscle soreness.
- A lack of energy and a general sense that you feel tired.
- Nausea, upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Keep in mind, the severity of the symptoms will vary based on whether you have a cold, flu, or COVID-19. As such, it is best to get tested for COVID-19 if you have been around others in the past 14 days.
Differences Between Colds, the Flu, and COVID-19
One key difference is there are vaccines for the different strains of the flu. Many of these vaccines can also help fight off cold viruses. Some medications can be used to treat colds and the flu once you get sick. You will even find products that boost the immune system and help prevent colds and the flu-like Cold-Fix.
With COVID-19, there is no vaccine, nor are there any types of medications to help fight the illness after you get infected. However, you can use products that boost and support the immune system to help strengthen your immune response, which could help make your body stronger to fight the coronavirus.
Another key difference is you could be infected with COVID-19 and not present any symptoms or only minor ones. For instance, you may have a constant headache and a lack of energy but have no other symptoms whatsoever.
Another COVID-19 symptom that you don’t experience with the cold and flu is a sudden loss of smell and a sudden loss of taste. If you notice that you cannot detect the scent of something, even though your nose is not stuffy, or you cannot taste something, then you may have COVID-19.