Your overview to staying clear of coronavirus, flu and also confusion this flu season.

You are watching: Cold symptoms vs covid 19 symptoms

It occasionally feels prefer the more we learn around coronavirus, the harder it is to discern that from various other illnesses.

Now, flu season is upon us now, i m sorry is certain to existing perplexing questions: Does having actually a fever mean I have COVID? Is this stuffy sleep the result of a cold, or might it be the flu? Or allergies?

There space at least a dozen symptoms common by part or all of those ailments, make it nearly impossible to recognize what you have actually without a diagnostic test, a medical exam or both.

The an excellent news is that, in many cases, you don’t need to recognize the reason in bespeak to know what come do. The crucial is to watch for transforms in your or family’s health and also to respond promptly.

To help, we’ve put together this side-by-side to compare of symptoms together a quick reference.


There are many similarities in between illness indigenous the coronavirus and the flu, but there space some distinctions that aid doctors distinguish them.

A key difference is the incubation period for the viruses -- that is, the moment it bring away to develop symptoms after exposure to it. The flu constantly strikes quickly, frequently one to 3 days. Coronavirus, however, have the right to take everywhere from two to 14 days. I m sorry is why it’s necessary to isolate ideal away after gift exposed for this reason as not to unknowingly epidemic others.

People usually recover from the flu in seven to 10 days, when it’s believed that that takes at least 10 job to recoup from the coronavirus, particularly those with severe cases, which have the right to mean numerous weeks or also months of progressive recovery.

The symptoms themselves are a bit much more tricky to distinguish. Listed below is a list of 12 symptoms that are quickly confused among coronavirus, the flu, the cold and allergies.


Fever: Coronavirus and also flu both cause fever, however it’s rare for the common cold. COVID-19 patients usually have a fever of 100 F or higher, if flu sufferers often experience fever of 100F come 102F that lasts 3 to four days.

Headache: COVID-19 patients sometimes have headaches. Flu sufferers often experience intense headaches. Headaches room rare v the cold, but sometimes led to by allergies.

Extreme exhaustion: Patients with the coronavirus sometimes experience this intense type of fatigue, but it commonly progresses slowly. Flu, on the various other hand, often reasons severe exhaustion as an early symptom.

Body aches and pains: The flu virus often causes body ill that room severe. Aches are sometimes current with coronavirus, yet not always.

Fatigue and also weakness: Very comparable to body aches, fatigue and weakness are more common and usually much more severe with the flu than with the coronavirus.

Stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, ill throat: One or more of these room sometimes present with the flu, yet they’re all rarely for the coronavirus.

Cough: common to both flu and also coronavirus.

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Shortness the breath: A significant symptom which wake up in severe cases of coronavirus, but rarely v the flu. Seek immediate medical attention instantly if you experience this life-threatening symptom.