Is It the Flu or COVID-19?
The flu and COVID-19 share some symptom similarities, but there are also a few differences. Below is a reference chart with information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from September 2020, as information continues to evolve about COVID-19. Not all people experience all symptoms of both the flu and COVID-19.
|Both Flu & COVID-19||COVID-19||Flu|
|Fever or feeling feverish/chills||Symptoms typically appear 5 days after infection, but can be as soon as 2 days and as long as 14 days||Symptoms typically appear 1-4 days after infection|
|Headache||Loss of taste||Emergency Symptoms of Flu in Adults:|
|Cough||Loss of smell||Not urinating*|
|Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath*||Nausea or vomiting||Persistent chest or abdominal pain*|
|Fatigue||Diarrhea||Persistent dizziness or confusion*|
|Sore throat||New confusion*||Seizures*|
|Runny or stuffy nose||Bluish lips or face*||Severe weakness*|
|Muscle pain or body aches||Chest pain or pressure*||Cough or fever that get better, then worse*|
|Vomiting and diarrhea are more common in children than adults||Inability to stay awake*||Worsening of chronic conditions*|
*Seek emergency care
The flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses, and the difference can be undetectable by symptoms alone. Seek a test to confirm a diagnosis. Please don’t delay care.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention