COVID-19, cold, allergies and the flu: What are the differences?

COVID-19, chilly, allergic reactions and the flu: What are the dissimilarities?

COVID-19, the frequent chilly, seasonal allergic reactions and the flu have lots of comparable indicators and indicators. Find out about some of the significant dissimilarities amongst these illnesses.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you have indicators or indicators of coronavirus condition 2019 (COVID-19), it is significant that you get in touch with your health care provider or clinic appropriate absent for health care assistance. But COVID-19, the frequent chilly, seasonal allergic reactions and the flu (influenza) lead to lots of comparable indicators. So how can you explain to if you have COVID-19? Comprehend the dissimilarities in indicators that these illnesses lead to, as effectively as how these illnesses distribute, are dealt with and can be prevented.

What is COVID-19 (coronavirus), how does it distribute, and how is it dealt with?

COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory condition brought about by an infection with the virus SARS-CoV-two. It normally spreads amongst people who are in close get in touch with (inside 6 ft, or two meters). The virus spreads via respiratory droplets released when somebody breathes, coughs, sneezes, talks or sings. These droplets can land in the mouth or nose of somebody close by or be inhaled. The virus can also distribute if a person touches a surface area or item with the virus on it and then touches his or her mouth, nose or eyes, whilst this isn’t viewed as to be a most important way it spreads.

The most frequent indicators of COVID-19 are a fever, cough and tiredness. But there are lots of other attainable indicators and indicators.

Currently, only 1 antiviral drug, named remdesivir, is permitted to deal with COVID-19. Some medication could enable lessen the severity of COVID-19. The U.S. Foodstuff and Drug Administration has presented entire authorization to 1 COVID-19 vaccine and emergency use authorization to a handful of COVID-19 vaccines.

What’s the big difference amongst COVID-19 and the frequent chilly?

The two COVID-19 and the frequent chilly are brought about by viruses. COVID-19 is brought about by SARS-CoV-two, whilst the frequent chilly is most often brought about by rhinoviruses. These viruses distribute in comparable approaches and lead to lots of of the similar indicators and indicators. Nonetheless, there are a several dissimilarities.

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

Symptom or signal COVID-19 Chilly
Cough Commonly (dry) Commonly
Muscle aches Commonly In some cases
Tiredness Commonly In some cases
Sneezing Almost never In some cases
Sore throat Commonly Commonly
Runny or stuffy nose Commonly Commonly
Fever Commonly In some cases
Diarrhea In some cases Hardly ever
Nausea or vomiting In some cases Hardly ever
New reduction of style or scent Commonly (early — often without a runny or stuffy nose) In some cases (specially with a stuffy nose)

Although COVID-19 indicators typically surface two to 14 days immediately after exposure to SARS-CoV-two, indicators of a frequent chilly normally surface 1 to three days immediately after exposure to a chilly-causing virus.

There is no get rid of for the frequent chilly. Treatment could consist of ache relievers and more than-the-counter chilly treatments, these kinds of as decongestants. As opposed to COVID-19, a chilly is normally harmless. Most people get better from a frequent chilly in three to ten days, whilst some colds could previous as extensive as two or three weeks.

What’s the big difference amongst COVID-19 and seasonal allergic reactions?

As opposed to COVID-19, seasonal allergic reactions are not brought about by a virus. Seasonal allergic reactions are immune process responses induced by exposure to allergens, these kinds of as seasonal tree or grass pollens.

COVID-19 and seasonal allergic reactions lead to lots of of the similar indicators and indicators. Nonetheless, there are some dissimilarities.

Symptom check: Is it COVID-19 or seasonal allergic reactions?

Symptom or signal COVID-19 Allergy
Cough Commonly (dry) In some cases
Fever Commonly Hardly ever
Muscle aches Commonly Hardly ever
Tiredness Commonly In some cases
Itchy nose, eyes, mouth or interior ear Hardly ever Commonly
Sneezing Almost never Commonly
Sore throat Commonly Almost never
Runny or stuffy nose Commonly Commonly
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) In some cases In some cases
Nausea or vomiting In some cases Hardly ever
Diarrhea In some cases Hardly ever
New reduction of style or scent Commonly (early — often without a runny or stuffy nose) In some cases

Also, whilst COVID-19 can lead to shortness of breath or problem respiratory, seasonal allergic reactions really don’t normally lead to these indicators except you have a respiratory problem these kinds of as asthma that can be induced by pollen exposure.

Treatment of seasonal allergic reactions could consist of more than-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays and decongestants, and avoidance of exposure to allergens where by attainable. Seasonal allergic reactions could previous many weeks.

What is actually the big difference amongst COVID-19 and the flu?

COVID-19 and the flu are equally contagious respiratory diseases brought about by viruses. COVID-19 is brought about by the SARS-CoV-two virus, whilst the flu is brought about by influenza A and B viruses. These viruses distribute in comparable approaches.

COVID-19 and the flu lead to comparable indicators. The diseases can also lead to no indicators or delicate or significant indicators. Simply because of the similarities, it can be challenging to diagnose which problem you have based on indicators on your own. Screening could be completed to see if you have COVID-19 or the flu. You can also have equally diseases at the similar time. Nonetheless, there are some dissimilarities.

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

Symptom or signal COVID-19 Flu
Cough Commonly (dry) Commonly
Muscle aches Commonly Commonly
Tiredness Commonly Commonly
Sore throat Commonly Commonly
Runny or stuffy nose Commonly Commonly
Fever Commonly Commonly — not constantly
Nausea or vomiting In some cases In some cases (a lot more frequent in little ones)
Diarrhea In some cases In some cases (a lot more frequent in little ones)
Shortness of breath or problem respiratory Commonly Commonly
New reduction of style or scent Commonly (early — often without a runny or stuffy nose) Almost never

COVID-19 indicators typically surface two to 14 days immediately after exposure to SARS-CoV-two. Flu indicators normally surface about 1 to 4 days immediately after exposure to an influenza virus.

COVID-19 can lead to a lot more-critical illnesses in some people than the flu. Also, COVID-19 can lead to distinctive problems than the flu, these kinds of as blood clots and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in little ones.

Although there is only 1 antiviral treatment method for COVID-19, there are many antiviral medication that can be used to deal with the flu. Also, you can get an annual flu vaccine to enable lessen your hazard of the flu. The flu vaccine can also lessen the severity of the flu and the hazard of critical problems. The vaccine can be presented as a shot or as a nasal spray.

 

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How can you avoid receiving COVID-19, a chilly and the flu?

When attainable, get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you’re thoroughly vaccinated, you can a lot more securely return to performing routines you may not have been capable to do simply because of the pandemic. Nonetheless, if you are in an place with a substantial selection of new COVID-19 circumstances, the CDC endorses sporting a mask indoors in general public and outdoor in crowded spots or when you are in close get in touch with with people who aren’t thoroughly vaccinated.

If you have not experienced a COVID-19 vaccine, you can lessen your hazard of an infection from the viruses that lead to COVID-19, colds and the flu by subsequent many common safeguards. Investigate indicates that subsequent these steps, these kinds of as social distancing and sporting a confront mask, may have assisted shorten the size of the flu time and lessened the selection of people influenced in the 2019-2020 flu time.

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

  • Avoiding close get in touch with (inside 6 ft, or two meters) with anybody outside your house, specially if you have a bigger hazard of critical disease
  • Donning a confront mask in indoor general public spaces
  • If you are in an place with a substantial selection of new COVID-19 circumstances, sporting a mask outdoor in crowded spots or when you are in close get in touch with with some others who aren’t thoroughly vaccinated
  • Washing your arms often with soap and h2o for at the very least twenty seconds, or making use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at the very least sixty% alcohol
  • Avoiding crowded indoor spaces
  • Covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cleaning and disinfecting substantial-touch surfaces, these kinds of as doorknobs, light-weight switches, electronics and counters, daily

Also, get an annual flu vaccine.

How can you stop allergic reactions?

The most effective way to stop seasonal allergic reactions is to avoid your acknowledged triggers. If you happen to be allergic to pollen, stay within with home windows and doorways closed when pollen is substantial.

Donning a cloth confront mask also may supply some defense in opposition to seasonal allergic reactions. Masks can stop you from inhaling some larger sized pollen particles. Nonetheless, smaller pollen particles will even now be capable to get via a mask. It can be also significant to wash your mask immediately after each use considering the fact that a mask may have pollen particles.

If you feel you may have indicators or indicators of COVID-19, converse to your health care provider. Try to remember, having preventive steps can enable you stay wholesome.

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