With the flu season beginning in September and lasting until March of each year, there is a greater focus on early symptom detection this year due to concerns about COVID-19.
In today’s blog, we will discuss some ways to distinguish between COVID-19, flu, and the common cold.
COVID-19 (short for “coronavirus disease 2019”) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a newly identified pathogen, emerging in late 2019.
COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory infection, and although some people don’t show any symptoms, they are still contagious.
While more is learned every day about COVID-19, there is still a lot to be known, and updates are available on the CDC website.
Flu (short for “Influenza”), is caused by influenza A, B, and C viruses.
Flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection, and has varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms to severe symptoms.
Common cold, or viral rhinitis, is caused by any of hundreds of different viruses.
Common cold is an upper respiratory infection (nose and throat), and is usually mild and resolves within a week.
Comparison of symptoms of COVID-19, Flu, and the common cold
|Diarrhea/ Gastrointestinal symptoms||Sometimes||Sometimes||Rare|
|Fever/ Chills/ Shaking||Often||Often||Rare|
|Loss of Taste or Smell||Sometimes||Never||Never|
|Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing||Often||Rare||Rare|
Source: Yale New-Haven Health: https://www.ynhhs.org/patient-care/urgent-care/flu-or-coronavirus
Since many symptoms are similar, it is hard to know for sure which illness you or a loved one may have.
Your care team at Alma Health recommends diagnostic testing, which is the only sure way to determine which infection a person has.
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