The Difference Between the Flu, a Common Cold or Coronavirus

the Flu, a Common Cold or Coronavirus

Is it the Common Cold or Coronavirus? When you sneeze, cough or get a headache do you wonder if you have COVID-19? Or maybe you think you are coming down with the flu? Sneezing and coughing could simply be caused by a common cold or seasonal allergy. It is important that you understand each of these ailments, the symptoms they have in common and what sets them apart. At Everest Urgent Care, we offer convenient COVID-19 testing. If you are feeling ill and exhibiting symptoms, call us so we can triage your case and streamline the best course of action for you.

Distinguishing between the Flu, a Common Cold or Coronavirus

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by infection with a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Something new is learned about the virus every day. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says symptoms of COVID-19 generally appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include fever, dry cough, shortness of breath and sudden loss of taste or smell. Other common symptoms include fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. Not everyone who has COVID-19 will experience all the symptoms. In fact, some people may have no symptoms at all. If you do experience symptoms, or if you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 it’s a good idea to consult a medical professional to determine if you should get tested.

The Flu (Influenza)

Like COVID-19, the flu (influenza) is a contagious respiratory illness. But, unlike COVID-19, it is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Flu symptoms hit you suddenly and typically appear one to four days after infection. Common symptoms include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, headache, body or muscle aches and fatigue. Some people have vomiting and / or diarrhea, but this is more common in children than adults. Most people recover from the flu in less than two weeks. Occasionally, people experience life-threatening complications such as pneumonia.

The Common Cold

The common cold is caused by a few different viruses, and there are millions of cases each year in the United States. Colds typically begin with a sore throat and runny nose, followed by coughing and sneezing. People may also experience headaches, body aches and fatigue. The biggest factor to distinguishing between the common cold or coronavirus is that it is rare to have a fever with a cold. Most people recover from a cold in seven to 10 days.

Seasonal Allergies

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know they can make you feel miserable. Allergies can cause a runny or stuffy nose, cough, fatigue, headache, sore throat, and, for people with respiratory conditions such as asthma, they can cause difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. If your eyes are itchy and watery, and you are sneezing it is likely that allergies are to blame.

COVID-19, Flu Testing and Flu Shots Available at Everest Urgent Care

It may be hard to diagnose your illness based on symptoms alone, so diagnostic testing may be necessary to rule out COVID-19 or influenza. These tests can be done at our Everest Urgent Care Centers in Upper Darby and Chester. It is important to get tested if you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms to stop asymptomatic spread.

Keep in mind it is also important to get a Flu Shot this season. If you already have your flu shot, it is less likely your symptoms are from the flu, which can help doctors diagnose any infections that may get. You can go to either of our Everest Urgent Care Centers to get a Flu Shot.

COVID-19 Testing is offered every day at Everest Urgent Care Centers in Upper Darby and Chester. Visit our website HERE to determine the location that is convenient for you.