COVID-19, chilly, allergy symptoms and the flu: What are the differences?

COVID-19, the common chilly, seasonal allergy symptoms and the flu have numerous equivalent signs and symptoms. Discover out about some of the significant differences between these diseases.

By Mayo Clinic Personnel

If you have signs or symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is significant that you get in touch with your health practitioner or clinic correct away for health-related guidance. But COVID-19, the common chilly, seasonal allergy symptoms and the flu (influenza) cause numerous equivalent symptoms. So how can you tell if you have COVID-19? Understand the differences in symptoms that these diseases cause, as nicely as how these diseases unfold, are addressed and can be prevented.

What is COVID-19 (coronavirus), how does it unfold, and how is it addressed?

COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory disease induced by an infection with the virus SARS-CoV-two. It ordinarily spreads between persons who are in shut get in touch with (in just 6 toes, or two meters). The virus spreads by means of respiratory droplets introduced when anyone breathes, coughs, sneezes, talks or sings. These droplets can land in the mouth or nose of anyone close by or be inhaled. The virus can also unfold if a individual touches a floor or item with the virus on it and then touches his or her mouth, nose or eyes, despite the fact that this just isn’t thought of to be a key way it spreads.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a fever, cough and tiredness. But there are numerous other possible signs and symptoms.

Currently, only a single antiviral drug, called remdesivir, is approved to deal with COVID-19. Some drugs may well assist lessen the severity of COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given entire authorization to a single COVID-19 vaccine and emergency use authorization to a handful of COVID-19 vaccines.

What’s the difference between COVID-19 and the common chilly?

Each COVID-19 and the common chilly are induced by viruses. COVID-19 is induced by SARS-CoV-two, while the common chilly is most typically induced by rhinoviruses. These viruses unfold in equivalent approaches and cause numerous of the same signs and symptoms. On the other hand, there are a handful of differences.

Symptom check: Is it COVID-19 or a chilly?

Symptom or sign COVID-19 Cold
Cough Ordinarily (dry) Ordinarily
Muscle aches Ordinarily Occasionally
Tiredness Ordinarily Occasionally
Sneezing Seldom Occasionally
Sore throat Ordinarily Ordinarily
Runny or stuffy nose Ordinarily Ordinarily
Fever Ordinarily Occasionally
Diarrhea Occasionally Hardly ever
Nausea or vomiting Occasionally Hardly ever
New reduction of style or odor Ordinarily (early — typically without a runny or stuffy nose) Occasionally (primarily with a stuffy nose)

While COVID-19 symptoms normally look two to fourteen times soon after publicity to SARS-CoV-two, symptoms of a common chilly ordinarily look a single to a few times soon after publicity to a chilly-resulting in virus.

There is no treatment for the common chilly. Remedy may well include things like suffering relievers and above-the-counter chilly therapies, these kinds of as decongestants. As opposed to COVID-19, a chilly is ordinarily harmless. Most persons recuperate from a common chilly in a few to 10 times, despite the fact that some colds may well last as very long as two or a few months.

What’s the difference between COVID-19 and seasonal allergy symptoms?

As opposed to COVID-19, seasonal allergy symptoms usually are not induced by a virus. Seasonal allergy symptoms are immune system responses brought on by publicity to allergens, these kinds of as seasonal tree or grass pollens.

COVID-19 and seasonal allergy symptoms cause numerous of the same signs and symptoms. On the other hand, there are some differences.

Symptom check: Is it COVID-19 or seasonal allergy symptoms?

Symptom or sign COVID-19 Allergy
Cough Ordinarily (dry) Occasionally
Fever Ordinarily Hardly ever
Muscle aches Ordinarily Hardly ever
Tiredness Ordinarily Occasionally
Itchy nose, eyes, mouth or inner ear Hardly ever Ordinarily
Sneezing Seldom Ordinarily
Sore throat Ordinarily Seldom
Runny or stuffy nose Ordinarily Ordinarily
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) Occasionally Occasionally
Nausea or vomiting Occasionally Hardly ever
Diarrhea Occasionally Hardly ever
New reduction of style or odor Ordinarily (early — typically without a runny or stuffy nose) Occasionally

Also, while COVID-19 can cause shortness of breath or issues breathing, seasonal allergy symptoms don’t ordinarily cause these symptoms except if you have a respiratory problem these kinds of as asthma that can be brought on by pollen publicity.

Remedy of seasonal allergy symptoms may well include things like above-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays and decongestants, and avoidance of publicity to allergens in which possible. Seasonal allergy symptoms may well last numerous months.

What’s the difference between COVID-19 and the flu?

COVID-19 and the flu are both of those contagious respiratory illnesses induced by viruses. COVID-19 is induced by the SARS-CoV-two virus, while the flu is induced by influenza A and B viruses. These viruses unfold in equivalent approaches.

COVID-19 and the flu cause equivalent symptoms. The illnesses can also cause no symptoms or mild or intense symptoms. Due to the fact of the similarities, it can be tricky to diagnose which problem you have based on symptoms by yourself. Testing may well be completed to see if you have COVID-19 or the flu. You can also have both of those illnesses at the same time. On the other hand, there are some differences.

Symptom check: Is it COVID-19 or the flu?

Symptom or sign COVID-19 Flu
Cough Ordinarily (dry) Ordinarily
Muscle aches Ordinarily Ordinarily
Tiredness Ordinarily Ordinarily
Sore throat Ordinarily Ordinarily
Runny or stuffy nose Ordinarily Ordinarily
Fever Ordinarily Ordinarily — not constantly
Nausea or vomiting Occasionally Occasionally (much more common in small children)
Diarrhea Occasionally Occasionally (much more common in small children)
Shortness of breath or issues breathing Ordinarily Ordinarily
New reduction of style or odor Ordinarily (early — typically without a runny or stuffy nose) Seldom

COVID-19 symptoms normally look two to fourteen times soon after publicity to SARS-CoV-two. Flu symptoms ordinarily look about a single to four times soon after publicity to an influenza virus.

COVID-19 can cause much more-really serious diseases in some persons than the flu. Also, COVID-19 can cause diverse troubles than the flu, these kinds of as blood clots and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in small children.

While there is only a single antiviral treatment for COVID-19, there are numerous antiviral drugs that can be utilised to deal with the flu. Also, you can get an yearly flu vaccine to assist lessen your hazard of the flu. The flu vaccine can also lessen the severity of the flu and the hazard of really serious troubles. The vaccine can be given as a shot or as a nasal spray.

 

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How can you steer clear of receiving COVID-19, a chilly and the flu?

When possible, get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are totally vaccinated, you can much more securely return to doing actions you may well not have been in a position to do mainly because of the pandemic. On the other hand, if you are in an area with a large selection of new COVID-19 situations, the CDC suggests carrying a mask indoors in public and outdoors in crowded areas or when you are in shut get in touch with with persons who aren’t totally vaccinated.

If you have not experienced a COVID-19 vaccine, you can lessen your hazard of an infection from the viruses that cause COVID-19, colds and the flu by following numerous normal safeguards. Analysis suggests that following these actions, these kinds of as social distancing and carrying a deal with mask, may well have aided shorten the duration of the flu period and lessened the selection of persons influenced in the 2019-2020 flu period.

Conventional safeguards to lessen your hazard of COVID-19, colds and the flu include things like:

  • Averting shut get in touch with (in just 6 toes, or two meters) with anybody exterior your household, primarily if you have a bigger hazard of really serious ailment
  • Putting on a deal with mask in indoor public areas
  • If you are in an area with a large selection of new COVID-19 situations, carrying a mask outdoors in crowded areas or when you are in shut get in touch with with others who aren’t totally vaccinated
  • Washing your fingers typically with cleaning soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or applying an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is made up of at least 60% alcohol
  • Averting crowded indoor areas
  • Masking your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Averting touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cleansing and disinfecting large-touch surfaces, these kinds of as doorknobs, gentle switches, electronics and counters, day by day

Also, get an yearly flu vaccine.

How can you avoid allergy symptoms?

The most effective way to avoid seasonal allergy symptoms is to steer clear of your recognised triggers. If you’re allergic to pollen, stay within with windows and doors shut when pollen is large.

Putting on a fabric deal with mask also may well supply some security in opposition to seasonal allergy symptoms. Masks can avoid you from inhaling some bigger pollen particles. On the other hand, smaller pollen particles will still be in a position to get by means of a mask. It can be also significant to wash your mask soon after every single use due to the fact a mask may well carry pollen particles.

If you imagine you may well have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, talk to your health practitioner. Recall, using preventive actions can assist you stay wholesome.