Flu vs. COVID-19: How to Tell the Two Apart

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Flu vs. COVID-19: How to Tell the Two Apart

a COVID-19 vaccine bottle and a syringe

The year 2019 transformed the world completely since it was the beginning of a global pandemic. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has been on a rise and has spread across the world, affecting millions of people. But most of us can’t differentiate between a regular flu and COVID-19 symptoms.

But don’t be afraid, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of some ways to tell the two apart.

Differences between COVID-19 and Flu

There are numerous variations between COVID-19 and the flu, including differing causes, consequences, and therapies. COVID-19 and the flu spread in distinct ways, with different severity levels and symptoms.

COVID-19 and Flu Symptoms

The earliest symptoms of the flu are usually visible in about one to four days after infection. However, COVID-19 symptoms might develop over time. Although COVID-19 symptoms can appear as soon as two days after infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends waiting five days to be completely sure.

Furthermore, it is possible to be infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms for up to 14 days.

The Spread and Severity

A man wiping his nose

A moderate, dry cough is the most common symptom of the flu. COVID-19 variations like Delta can induce severe cough symptoms that are dry, persistent, and inflict shortness of breath. However, some strains of COVID-19, such as the Omicron variant, are less likely to impact your lungs, which implies a cough may not be one of the COVID-19 symptoms you’re experiencing, making it harder to tell the difference between a cold and COVID-19.

Moreover, COVID-19 spreads faster than the flu, so if you start noticing everyone in your house catching on the symptoms rapidly, there might be a chance you’ve caught the COVID-19 disease.

Unique Symptoms

Luckily, it can sometimes get easy to tell COVID-19 and flu apart since Coronavirus triggers some uncommon and unique symptoms that don’t overlap with a regular cold or flu. These symptoms can be loss of taste and smell or shortness of breath and trouble breathing.

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