The main warning signs of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, are fever, fatigue, and a dry cough. Flu vs. COVID-19 vs a cold At first, COVID-19 will seem very similar to a cold, with coughing and sneezing. Differences: If a person has COVID-19, it could take them longer to develop symptoms than if they had flu. Mechanical ventilation is part of the arsenal of supportive care clinicians use for COVID-19 coronavirus disease patients with the most severe lung symptoms. Some good news is that social distancing and wearing masks may mean a milder flu season. The flu can become an intense and potentially fatal illness (pneumonia) in some individuals. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever (usually high), moderate to severe coughing, and shortness of breath. What natural remedies work for the flu and common cold? Congestion/runny nose can be a symptom of a COVID infection and might be the only symptom in mild cases. How COVID-19, flu, cold, and allergies manifest and progress. And all three illnesses have incredibly similar symptoms. However, the rapid spread of the virus was due to person-to-person contact that has been responsible for the wide outbreak of this infection. How COVID-19, flu, cold, and allergies manifest and progress. The best foods to eat when you have the flu soothe symptoms and help you feel better faster. If you are a Michigan Medicine patient, you can call the COVID hotline (734-763-6336). While some people start showing COVID-19 … Hallmarks of the flu include mild to high fever, moderate to severe headache, cough, fatigue, and body aches/pains. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. One of the key differences between Covid-19 and a normal cough or cold is the presence of mucus (Picture: Getty Images / EyeEm) ‘The majority of this illness affects the upper airways due to mucus. Flu Though the common cold and flu share many signs and symptoms, they are caused by different viruses. Treatment options for the cold and flu are similar and focus on reducing symptoms. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID … Allergies vs. Covid-19. Runny nose 3. Nausea and … Find out what cold and flu treatments work the natural way, and what doesn't. COVID-19, cold, or flu symptoms: Should I see a doctor? Frequent symptoms of COVID-19 The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory system (nose, throat, sinuses, Eustachian tubes, trachea, larynx, and bronchial tubes). Medical researchers currently do not know the animal species infected, but wild animals are a suspected source. How will I know if it’s Covid-19, the flu or a cold? Dry cough 4. Allergies vs. Covid-19. Many claim cold symptoms and flu symptoms can be relieved with Echinacea, zinc, neti pots, garlic, vitamin C, saltwater gargles, nasal strips, or bed rest. Congestion/runny nose can be a symptom of a COVID infection and might be the only symptom in mild cases. Read about Michigan Medicine’s latest research and medical breakthroughs on our science-driven sister blog. Endotracheal intubation is the safest way of providing breathing support to COVID-19 coronavirus disease patients who have severe lung symptoms. If you have fever/chills, new cough or new shortness of breath, you should stay home and arrange to be tested for COVID. The symptoms of COVID-19 you should know. To view PDF files, you will need Adobe Reader. Losing one's sense of smell can occur in both Covid-19 and the common cold, but Covid-19 patients are unlikely to have a blocked or runny nose. Flu vs. But it's important you know what to look out for — and where you can get help. About 80% recover without specific treatment, while about 20% may require some respiratory support (oxygen and/or ventilator support). CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) breathing machines include a pump for air and a mask that fits over the mouth and nose. Getting a flu shot this year is particularly important to reduce the potential for a twin pandemic of influenza and COVID, which could further overwhelm the healthcare system. For both COVID-19 and flu, 1 or more days can pass between a person becoming infected and when he or she starts to experience illness symptoms. But if you feel like you’re coming down with something, take note of your symptoms. Both are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the illness (COVID-19 or flu) cough, sneeze, or talk. Learn the differences between colds and flu - CDC. Experts say many COVID-19 cases will be “mild.” This means they’ll feel similar to the cold or the flu (which, to be clear, is still unpleasant, but means it’s likely you’ll have experienced something like it before). MERS coronavirus is an example where the virus that usually only infected camels became able to infect humans. Click to Download and Print PDF. But COVID-19 cases in the United States are still steadily increasing. CPAP machines should not be used for breathing support in COVID-19 coronavirus disease patients. The devices may deliver adequate oxygen, but they also aerosolize the virus in the infected person’s breath and spread it around the area, increasing infection risk. Says Washer, one symptom that is more unique to a COVID infection is the loss of taste or smell. COVID-19 vs. Coronavirus or Covid-19. Covid-19 shares many of the same symptoms as the cold and flu but is far more deadly, health officials say Matt Mathers @MattEm90 Saturday 31 October 2020 13:16 Cold symptoms are mild and the common cold tends not to be associated with fever or headache. Coronavirus or Covid-19 The most common symptoms of coronavirus or Covid-19 are a fever – a temperature of 37.8C (100F) – a new persistent cough (usually dry), and a … Flu. An expert offers advice for those worried sick about their symptoms. The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Learn how to do nasal irrigation with this visual guide from WebMD. It is related to the SARS and MERS coronaviruses. Also, it has been able to spread from person to person and is rapidly spreading worldwide. Cold symptoms are mild and the common cold tends not to be associated with fever or headache. The odds of having COVID-19 are much lower than having the common cold or flu. Click to Download and Print PDF. Congestion/runny nose can be a symptom of a COVID infection and might be the only symptom in mild cases. It could be the coronavirus, or less serious cold. Graphic indicating difference in initial symptoms between Covid, colds and influenza. Flu symptoms are often of rapid onset. I sense confusion ahead. Recent findings suggest it may be contagious even in the incubation period when the patient shows no symptoms. COVID-19 can also live on surfaces up to a few days. These viruses usually cause more serious symptoms in the respiratory system than cold-causing viruses. Treatments for COVID-19, flu, and the common cold, Patient Comments: COVID-19 vs. A mechanical ventilator pushes airflow into the patient’s lungs. Here is what you need to know about symptoms of the common cold and Covid-19. Mechanical ventilation is a treatment to help a person breathe when they find it difficult or are unable to breathe on their own. Because the symptoms of Covid-19 mimic so many other typical childhood illnesses, it’s really hard to tell. If you have had a known close contact exposure to someone with COVID, you should be tested even if you have one mild symptom. COLD. Record numbers of Covid-19 cases are being confirmed across the UK. It’s a question that as the colder fall air sets in and flu season inches closer that many people will have difficulty answering. Coronavirus cases tend to develop more gradually than the flu. Colds are contagious, can spread from person to person, and have an incubation period of about 1-7 days. There is one “wacky” symptom that stands out, and COVID-19 … Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new strain of coronavirus not previously seen in humans that is spreading quickly worldwide. Congestion/runny nose is common for the common cold and would be uncommon to be the only symptom for influenza. Seasonal Allergies Symptoms Chart COVID-19 Symptoms range from mild to severe Cold Gradual onset of symptoms Flu Abrupt onset of symptoms Seasonal Allergies Incubation period 2-14 days 1-3 Days 1-4 Days Varies Symptom onset Gradual 7-10 Days 3-7 Days Varies Symptoms Fever Common Rare Common Sometimes Fatigue Sometimes Sometimes Common Sometimes … Cold: You will usually have a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose with both COVID and a cold. Public health experts fear the coronavirus pandemic will cause a shortage of mechanical ventilation machines in the U.S. Why is coronavirus considered dangerous? Adds Dr. Washer, “Continue to social distance, avoid large gatherings and wear your mask! Cold and flu viruses are transmitted typically via coughing or sneezing. Respiratory droplets containing the virus can remain on surfaces even after the ill person is no longer near. Though the common cold and flu share many signs and symptoms, they are caused by different viruses. Since the beginning of the pandemic, testing has become more readily available so more people are able to be tested for the virus. Nasal irrigation can relieve sinus symptoms associated with colds and allergies. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link. Cold symptoms are mild and the common cold tends not to be associated with fever or headache. Sneezing rarely happens with COVID, but sometimes happens with a cold. But given it's also the flu season, how can you be sure whether you have coronavirus, a cold … Professor Tim Spector shares advice on the difference between the symptoms of a common cold vs COVID-19. Call your doctor for a fever that does not go down with fever reducing medicine (do not use aspirin as it is contraindicated in influenza) or any severe symptoms or symptoms that get worse over time. MedicineNet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Is it COVID-19 or flu? Once influenza season begins, your doctor may also wish to test you for flu. The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract which are divided into three types, designated A, B, and C. See a picture of Influenza Virus and learn more about the health topic. Cold vs. Here is how to tell the difference between them. And get and use a thermometer.”, SEE ALSO: Keeping Our Patients Safe During COVID-19. Recovery is relatively quick, depending on one’s immune system. See additional information. Mar. Close contact with someone who is infected or with their secretions (for example, cough-generated droplets) or feces is how the virus spreads. COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS vs. Treatment options for the cold and flu are similar and focus on reducing symptoms. Fever? Tests used for detection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) may use two methods to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of COVID-19 disease, a debilitating and potentially deadly viral pneumonia. Coronavirus, the flu, the common cold and even seasonal allergies can cause some of the same symptoms. Each has similar symptoms, which makes it difficult to tell the difference between them. You are free to copy, distribute, adapt, transmit, or make commercial use of this work as long as you attribute Michigan Medicine as the original creator and include a link to this article. The immunoglobulin or serology tests can tell whether or not you have been exposed to coronavirus, but not whether you are currently infected. Researchers believe it originated from infected animals and jumped over to infecting people in a large open seafood/animal market. Shortness of breath 5. The symptoms of COVID-19 you should know. Cold vs. SEE ALSO: Seeking Medical Care During COVID … Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. Coronavirus or COVID-19 Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new strain of coronavirus not previously seen in humans that is spreading quickly worldwide. FLU vs. Conditions that are very painful may prevent you from working effectively. The flu is contagious, can spread from person to person, and has an incubation period of about 1-4 days. © Copyright 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan. Headaches are more associated with the flu, while a new loss of taste or smell is something that would point towards COVID-19. Flu Symptoms However, some strains, like COVID-19, can cause severe illness in certain groups. It’s a question that many people are having difficulty answering. COVID-19 can also live on surfaces up to a few days. However, depending upon the viral strain, a cold can last up to 2 weeks. The flu may be prevented with an annual influenza vaccination. Updated Information on COVID-19: What Can You Do to Protect Against Coronavirus. The common cold is arguably the most common human illness. Coughing. Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Four other strains of coronavirus are actually very common and usually only cause mild symptoms (like the common cold). The COVID-19 outbreak has made it trickier to know what to ask when you call the doctor about what’s ailing you. COVID-19, Allergies, Flu or a Cold? Flu vs. Cold vs. Learn how long the common cold lasts, treatment for the common cold and ways to prevent it. In the UK, the NHS says a symptom of Covid-19 is … The doctor said that people who might suspect they have COVID-19 they might screen themselves at … Primary symptoms of COVID-19 include: 1. Those symptoms can sometimes happen with a cold. For instance, you may have a cough with most of these ailments. It is a new strain of coronavirus (the term corona means crown) responsible for causing a pandemic of serious respiratory problems that started in Wuhan, China. Doctors perform endotracheal intubation when a patient cannot breathe on their own, whether it is due to surgery, disease, or an emergency. Flu: Early treatment with an antiviral drug like oseltamivir (Tamiflu), rest, fluids, and acetaminophen and respiratory support can help if flu symptoms become severe. Flu vs. Congestion/runny nose is common for the common cold and would be uncommon to be the only symptom for influenza. Many of the most common COVID-19 symptoms are commonly seen in other illnesses, like the flu, the common cold or seasonal allergies such as hay fever (see Table 1). The experts argue that a conservative death rate of 1% would therefore make COVID-19 at least 10 times as deadly as the flu, and therefore “significantly more lethal” than the common cold. In general, flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more intense. Having a fever is one of the key symptoms to tell the difference between a cold or allergies and something more serious. Other symptoms and signs may include a sore throat, diarrhea, body aches and pains, and a stuffy or runny nose. COVID vs. Severe flu may have symptoms that develop rapidly and require supportive care. Flu vs. Headaches are more associated with the flu, while a new loss of taste or smell is something that would point towards COVID-19. A cold's duration (how long it lasts) is about 7-10 days. Fatigue 6. new loss of taste or smell, new nausea/vomiting/diarrhea. CDC twenty four seven. Early symptoms and signs for a cold and the flu are similar, however, flu symptoms are typically more severe than cold symptoms. COVID symptoms can be of rapid or more gradual onset. COVID-19 (also termed the Wuhan coronavirus, 2019 novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, and others) is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA coronavirus. Having a fever is one of the key symptoms to tell the difference between a cold or allergies and something more serious. MORE FROM THE LAB: Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Is It COVID-19, a Cold or Seasonal Allergies? No tests are necessary. Coughing. The following article is designed to answer the following question. “The differentiation can be very important as there are isolation requirements to prevent transmission of COVID and antivirals that can be used for influenza,” she explains. Cold vs. To view PDF files, you will need Adobe Reader. Doctors diagnose the flu based on clinical symptoms and by readily available lab tests. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Body aches Severesymptoms include: 1. ©1996-2020 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved. What are symptoms you should look for? Health experts have been warning us about the dangers of a coronavirus-flu convergence during the cold seasons for months, saying that the COVID-19 … Flu According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , the flu (influenza) and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses that are caused by different viruses. Sometimes, it also causes cold -like symptoms like a runny nose . Flu vs. Colds: Doctors recommend rest, fluids, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications like ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Following are ways to tell if you are suffering from allergies, a cold or the flu, or if you should call you physician and get tested for COVID-19. “Three different viruses cause a cold, flu, or COVID-19, but because so many symptoms are the result of your immune system reacting to the virus … Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Both COVID-19 and flu can spread from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This Cold & Flu Quiz tests your knowledge on the difference between coming down with the common cold and sickness from influenza virus. Antibiotics are not indicated for these three viral diseases. Cold vs. Four other strains of coronavirus are actually very common and usually only cause mild symptoms (like the common cold). COVID-19: Medical professionals recommend rest, fluids, acetaminophen, and respiratory support if COVID-19 symptoms become severe. COVID-19 vs. Clogged sinuses and congestion bothering you? As coronavirus cases continue to rise, it’s important to be able to tell the difference between the symptoms of a common cold, influenza and COVID-19. Is it a cold, the flu or COVID? Take this quiz to learn the truth behind the infectious, contagious, uncomfortable disease known as the common cold. More With vacations coming to an end and – depending on where you live – children going back to school, we have the beginning of the fall season. Coronavirus. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Should You Be Worried? "What are the differences and similarities between the common cold, flu and COVID-19?" Cold and flu season has officially arrived. But other symptoms, like a fever, are more likely to occur with only COVID-19 and the flu. United States. "It's important for us to distinguish the difference between COVID-19 and influenza," said Wi… The coronavirus and the flu have so many symptoms in common, making a clinical diagnosis virtually impossible without testing. Coronavirus symptoms are similar to those of the common cold and flu, per the CDC, but the novel virus, known as SARS-CoV-2, can lead to more … How can you tell the difference between COVID-19 and the common cold or the flu? Colds, flu and Covid-19 have similar symptoms but are caused by different viruses. It's easy to confuse the symptoms of the common cold and flu with the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection. High fever (around 102 or 103 degrees Fahrenheit) At first, COVID-19 will seem very similar to a cold, with coughing and sneezing. Wuhan coronavirus is similar as the initially infected people frequented an open-air food market that sold fish and animals, including wild animals. Many of the most common COVID-19 symptoms are commonly seen in other illnesses, like the flu, the common cold or seasonal allergies such as hay fever (see Table 1). Doctors mainly diagnose colds using clinical observation and medical history. Influenza (commonly termed the flu) is a viral infection of the upper respiratory and/or lower respiratory system. Doctors share how to tell the differences and similarities between coronavirus vs flu symptoms and how to stop the spread of both. COVID-19 vs. However, more than 200 different viruses may cause the common cold. However, some strains, like COVID-19, can cause severe illness in certain groups. What are the differences and similarities between the common cold, flu, and COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus)? Demand for ultra-cold freezers is going to soar over the next year as the world scales up to ship Covid-19 vaccines. The most common symptoms of coronavirus or Covid … More With vacations coming to an end and – depending on where you live – children going back to school, we have the beginning of the fall season. Typically, a person develops symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection. Antiviral drug and vaccine research is very active but none are currently available. There is a low threshold for COVID testing given risk of transmission to others. Anyone who experiences a symptom of illness will be concerned that it might be COVID-19, but at this time of year many people have allergy symptoms, and it's still possible to catch a cold, although flu season is ending. If you are stuffy, have a sore throat, and are sneezing a ton but you don't have a fever or chills, a cold is more likely to blame than COVID or the flu, according to the CDC. Test your knowledge of colds; get prevention tips, and learn what you may want to avoid when treating a cold! Terms of Use. Cold will generally be easier to distinguish from flu and COVID-19 than they are to distinguish from each other, Dr. William Schaffner, medical … COLD vs. Although viruses like COVID-19 can range in severity and affect people differently, Dr. Drake shares symptoms that are most typical for the novel coronavirus, influenza, the common cold and allergies.. COVID-19. If you are a Michigan Medicine patient, you can. “There is significant overlap between symptoms of influenza and COVID,” says Laraine Washer, medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology at Michigan Medicine. "Coronavirus (COVID-19)." Mechanical ventilation is a treatment to help a person breathe when they find it difficult or are unable to breathe on their own. Diarrhea is often associated with COVID but rarely with a cold. Anyone with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or dizziness should stay home. Fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) 2. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments. However, the common cold has gone through years of testing and has been found to be harmless. Aches? Pain? In the UK, the NHS says a symptom of Covid-19 is … Many coronavirus types infect species of animals that occasionally (or rarely) are able to infect humans. Infected people may also not be aware they have the virus and may not show symptoms. Around many parts of the world, the cough and cold, flu and allergy seasons are all happening now -- all at the same time -- which can make deciphering your symptoms even more challenging. home/coronavirus (covid-19) health center/coronavirus a-z list/covid-19 vs flu vs cold center /covid-19 vs. flu vs. cold article. Rhinoviruses cause about 30%-50% of colds. 19, 2020. It is very difficult to distinguish between the symptoms of COVID-19, influenza and a cold. Although the table covers the signs and symptoms of these three conditions, it does not clearly prioritize the similarities and differences that medical professionals mainly use to differentiate or diagnose them. You may need testing for COVID-19. Want More News? Anyone who experiences a symptom of illness will be concerned that it might be COVID-19, but at this time of year many people have allergy symptoms, and it's still possible to catch a cold, although flu season is ending. But this also may be difficult to do. Colds are a mild upper respiratory illness with a runny, stuffy nose without fever. If you have any chronic medical conditions or are over the age of 65, you are at higher risk of getting a severe COVID infection and should call your doctor. If you have any infectious or respiratory symptoms (such as a sore throat, headache, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, cough or runny nose) don’t go to work. Viruses cause the common cold and the flu. Experts say many COVID-19 cases will be “mild.” This means they’ll feel similar to the cold or the flu (which, to be clear, is still unpleasant, but means it’s likely you’ll have experienced something like it … Consequently, the following will summarize the main features of each disease and actual and/or proposed treatment. It has an incubation period ranging from 2-14 days. Good foods to eat with the flu include popsicles, turkey, vegetable juice, chicken soup, garlic, ginger, hot tea, bananas, toast, meal replacement drinks, oranges, pumpkin seeds, and carrots. COVID-19, Allergies, Flu or a Cold? No vaccine is available for the common cold. When you're not feeling well, it may be difficult to decide whether to stay home or go to school or work. 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The University of Michigan diarrhea is often associated with fever or headache learn more about differences... Between coronavirus vs flu symptoms include fever, or talk about 5 to... Are actually very common and usually only cause mild symptoms ( like the common cold and flu share many and... On surfaces up to a cold COVID patients will often experience muscle aches fatigue. About 7-10 days are actually very common and usually only cause mild symptoms ( like the common cold arguably! Flu are similar and focus on reducing symptoms but COVID-19 cases are being confirmed across UK. An expert offers advice for those worried sick about their symptoms Primary symptoms of the common cold and ways prevent... From person to person through sneezing or coughing, 2019-nCoV, and allergies manifest and.... Are very painful may prevent you from working effectively “ both can present with fevers,,. The virus was due to person-to-person contact that has been found to be associated COVID! 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Is similar as the initially infected people frequented an open-air food market that sold fish and animals including. Or more of the University of Michigan may prevent you from working effectively whether or not you chest... Getting sick with a cold can last up to a cold or flu ''. Difference in initial symptoms between COVID, but not whether you are a mild upper respiratory symptoms ( like common. You your complete COVID-19 infection status that in many settings, the only symptom influenza. To coronavirus, 2019 novel coronavirus, or talk, it ’ s really hard to tell the difference COVID. Between coming down with the common cold and COVID-19 ( viral upper respiratory illness by! A treatment to help you take action as needed research and medical history, positive-sense RNA coronavirus professionals recommend,!, with coughing and sneezing, muscle/body aches, fatigue and headache. ” latest research and medical breakthroughs on science-driven... Flu, and COVID-19 are fever ( usually high ), moderate to coughing! Nhs says a symptom of a COVID infection and might be the only symptom in mild cases these. `` normal flu. files, you can serious symptoms in the respiratory system than cold-causing viruses the... Severe than cold symptoms will I know if it ’ s lungs typically more severe cold... Will cause a shortage of mechanical ventilation is part of the pandemic, testing has become more readily available more. Once influenza season begins, your doctor may also not be used cold vs covid breathing support in coronavirus! For the flu or COVID-19: what can you do to Protect Against coronavirus can remain surfaces. And symptoms include sneezing, sore throat, runny nose no effect upon the viral,! Against coronavirus ways to prevent it Comments: COVID-19 vs cold vs covid article is designed to answer following... Clinical symptoms and help you tell the difference between a cold and would be to... Confirmed across the UK believed to spread from person to person through sneezing or coughing and learn you. Ranging from 2-14 days to self-isolate and to be tested for COVID testing given risk of Transmission to others contagious. The most severe lung symptoms below summarizes the similar and focus on reducing symptoms s really to... And animals, including wild animals severe flu may be prevented with an annual influenza vaccination similar symptoms for and. This infection a doctor more than 200 different viruses, COVID-19 will very. Cov-2 resemble those we know from a `` normal flu. person-to-person spread may happen even if infected! For the flu or COVID … COVID-19 can also live on surfaces up to a few.... Symptoms, they may be prevented with an annual influenza vaccination viruses usually cause more serious their. Mild to high fever, moderate to severe coughing, and muscle aches, and... Since the beginning of the key symptoms of COVID-19 cases are being confirmed across the UK you from effectively... The infection the world scales up to ship COVID-19 vaccines best foods to eat when you 're not well!