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How to Tell the Difference Between the Flu & COVID19

Updated: Sep 13

by Dr. Jen Caudle


Influenza and COVID19 have a number of overlapping symptoms which could make it difficult to tell them apart.


According to the CDC, both the Flu and COVID can have the following symptoms:


Fever

Cough

difficulty breathing

Fatigue

Sore throat

Runny/stuffy nose

Muscle pain or body aches

Headache

Gastrointestinal symptoms

While the above symptoms often occur in both the flu and in COVID, symptoms that can set the two apart include a change or loss in taste or smell. A change/loss of taste or smell is not common with the flu but may occur in COVID patients.


There are other differences/similarities as well. With influenza, symptoms tend to develop 1-4 days after infection whereas COVID symptoms may appear anywhere from 2-14 days after infection.


Both COVID and the Flu are spread the same way- through upper respiratory droplets made when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks as well as person-person contact.


In addition, both the Flu and COVID can have severe complications. It should be noted, however that COVID can lead to MISC- Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Kids and blood clots in blood vessels and organs. These complications appear to be unique to COVID.


I hope this is helpful! Dr. Jen

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Information provided in this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical consultation or as a substitute for medical advice provided by a physician or qualified medical professional.

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