Know the Difference Between COVID-19, the Flu, and a Cold

The Difference Between COVID-19, the Flu, and a Cold

During the winter, cases of the flu and the common cold become more frequent. This year, we have the added complication of the COVID-19 pandemic. With some overlapping symptoms, it can be difficult to tell whether you’re experiencing a cold, the flu, or COVID-19. While the only sure way to know if you have COVID-19 is to receive a test, you can stay informed about the differences between the common viral infections. 

Know the Difference Between COVID-19, the Flu, and a Cold

Comparing the Flu and COVID-19 

The flu is a viral infection that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In serious cases, it can lead to hospitalization or even death. Thankfully, shots are available each year to offer protection against the infection. The vaccine will provide an inactive dose of the virus so that your body can create the antibodies that you need to fend off the illness.

Unfortunately, the flu and COVID-19 have multiple symptoms in common, including fever, fatigue, headache, body aches, diarrhea, and vomiting. That said, there are some symptoms that can be triggered by COVID-19 that don’t indicate a flu virus. These include trouble breathing, skin problems, and a loss of smell and taste. 

Comparing the Common Cold and COVID-19

The common cold typically doesn’t produce symptoms that are as intense as either COVID-19 or the flu, so it’s usually only in mild cases of COVID-19 that patients may mistake their symptoms for a cold.

Nasal congestion and a runny nose are often experienced with the common cold. These symptoms may also be seen in patients with mild COVID-19 cases. However, these symptoms, experienced alone, don’t typically point to the flu. 

If you’re feeling sick, it’s important to receive guidance from your doctor. Family Medical Centers are located in Pasco County, North Pinellas County, and South Hernando County. Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our experienced physicians.