How to tell if you have the flu or COVID-19COVID and the flu have a lot in common—they’re both respiratory disorders that tend to surge seasonally. Both may leave you down and out for a week or so on average, and both may be exacerbated by any of many compromising, pre-existing conditions. Despite the similarities, however, it’s worth pointing out that they’re far from identical. Different pathogens cause them, and they impact your system in different ways. In the most basic terms, the flu, influenza, is a respiratory illness that may either pass by without incident or lead to something more serious. COVID-19, on the other hand, is a coronavirus caused by the pathogen SARS-CoV-2. You can defend yourself from either by avoiding a potential exposure in public and by vaccinating yourself against what may end up being a severe infection. Many clinics, including ours, also offer combination flu and COVID testing, which can help you settle the matter definitively. If you’re just sleuthing it on your own, you might consider comparing your symptoms against the general expectations for both diseases. The following has been outlined by the CDC. Is it COVID or the flu?
COVID-19 symptoms vs. Flu symptomsAccording to the CDC, you can expect the following symptoms for both COVID-19 and the flu:
- Shortness of breath
- A sore throat
- Body aches and headaches
- Differences in your sense of taste and smell