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

COVID-19, the frequent chilly, seasonal allergic reactions and the flu have lots of very similar indicators and signs and symptoms. Discover out about some of the vital variances involving these diseases.

By Mayo Clinic Workers

If you have indicators or signs and symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it truly is vital that you get hold of your health practitioner or clinic correct absent for health care guidance. But COVID-19, the frequent chilly, seasonal allergic reactions and the flu (influenza) trigger lots of very similar signs and symptoms. So how can you tell if you have COVID-19? Have an understanding of the variances in signs and symptoms that these diseases trigger, as effectively as how these diseases distribute, are treated and can be prevented.

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

COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory disease caused by infection with the virus SARS-CoV-2. It ordinarily spreads involving persons who are in near get hold of (inside of six ft, or 2 meters). The virus spreads via respiratory droplets released when another person breathes, coughs, sneezes, talks or sings. These droplets can land in the mouth or nose of another person close by or be inhaled. The virus can also distribute if a individual touches a surface or object with the virus on it and then touches his or her mouth, nose or eyes, whilst this isn’t really regarded as to be a most important way it spreads.

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

At this time, only 1 antiviral drug, referred to as remdesivir, is accepted to take care of COVID-19. Some prescription drugs may help lessen the severity of COVID-19. The U.S. Food stuff and Drug Administration has presented whole authorization to 1 COVID-19 vaccine and unexpected emergency use authorization to a handful of COVID-19 vaccines.

What’s the variance involving COVID-19 and the frequent chilly?

Both of those COVID-19 and the frequent chilly are caused by viruses. COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, although the frequent chilly is most generally caused by rhinoviruses. These viruses distribute in very similar ways and trigger lots of of the exact same indicators and signs and symptoms. On the other hand, there are a couple variances.

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

Symptom or indicator COVID-19 Chilly
Cough Usually (dry) Usually
Muscle aches Usually Occasionally
Tiredness Usually Occasionally
Sneezing Not often Occasionally
Sore throat Usually Usually
Runny or stuffy nose Usually Usually
Fever Usually Occasionally
Diarrhea Occasionally Never
Nausea or vomiting Occasionally Never
New reduction of flavor or scent Usually (early — generally without having a runny or stuffy nose) Occasionally (especially with a stuffy nose)

Though COVID-19 signs and symptoms frequently appear two to 14 days immediately after publicity to SARS-CoV-2, signs and symptoms of a frequent chilly ordinarily appear 1 to 3 days immediately after publicity to a chilly-resulting in virus.

There is no heal for the frequent chilly. Treatment method may contain suffering relievers and more than-the-counter chilly therapies, these types of as decongestants. In contrast to COVID-19, a chilly is ordinarily harmless. Most persons get well from a frequent chilly in 3 to 10 days, whilst some colds may final as very long as two or 3 months.

What’s the variance involving COVID-19 and seasonal allergic reactions?

In contrast to COVID-19, seasonal allergic reactions aren’t caused by a virus. Seasonal allergic reactions are immune technique responses induced by publicity to allergens, these types of as seasonal tree or grass pollens.

COVID-19 and seasonal allergic reactions trigger lots of of the exact same indicators and signs and symptoms. On the other hand, there are some variances.

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

Symptom or indicator COVID-19 Allergy
Cough Usually (dry) Occasionally
Fever Usually Never
Muscle aches Usually Never
Tiredness Usually Occasionally
Itchy nose, eyes, mouth or interior ear Never Usually
Sneezing Not often Usually
Sore throat Usually Not often
Runny or stuffy nose Usually Usually
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) Occasionally Occasionally
Nausea or vomiting Occasionally Never
Diarrhea Occasionally Never
New reduction of flavor or scent Usually (early — generally without having a runny or stuffy nose) Occasionally

Also, although COVID-19 can trigger shortness of breath or problems breathing, seasonal allergic reactions will not ordinarily trigger these signs and symptoms except you have a respiratory situation these types of as asthma that can be induced by pollen publicity.

Treatment method of seasonal allergic reactions may contain more than-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays and decongestants, and avoidance of publicity to allergens where by probable. Seasonal allergic reactions may final various months.

What is actually the variance involving COVID-19 and the flu?

COVID-19 and the flu are equally contagious respiratory ailments caused by viruses. COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, although the flu is caused by influenza A and B viruses. These viruses distribute in very similar ways.

COVID-19 and the flu trigger very similar signs and symptoms. The ailments can also trigger no signs and symptoms or mild or significant signs and symptoms. For the reason that of the similarities, it can be difficult to diagnose which situation you have primarily based on signs and symptoms on your own. Testing may be finished to see if you have COVID-19 or the flu. You can also have equally ailments at the exact same time. On the other hand, there are some variances.

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

Symptom or indicator COVID-19 Flu
Cough Usually (dry) Usually
Muscle aches Usually Usually
Tiredness Usually Usually
Sore throat Usually Usually
Runny or stuffy nose Usually Usually
Fever Usually Usually — not constantly
Nausea or vomiting Occasionally Occasionally (more frequent in small children)
Diarrhea Occasionally Occasionally (more frequent in small children)
Shortness of breath or problems breathing Usually Usually
New reduction of flavor or scent Usually (early — generally without having a runny or stuffy nose) Not often

COVID-19 signs and symptoms frequently appear two to 14 days immediately after publicity to SARS-CoV-2. Flu signs and symptoms ordinarily appear about 1 to four days immediately after publicity to an influenza virus.

COVID-19 can trigger more-serious diseases in some persons than the flu. Also, COVID-19 can trigger distinctive difficulties than the flu, these types of as blood clots and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in small children.

Though there is only 1 antiviral remedy for COVID-19, there are various antiviral prescription drugs that can be employed to take care of the flu. Also, you can get an once-a-year flu vaccine to help lessen your possibility of the flu. The flu vaccine can also lessen the severity of the flu and the possibility of serious difficulties. The vaccine can be presented as a shot or as a nasal spray.

 

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How can you prevent obtaining COVID-19, a chilly and the flu?

When probable, get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you’re entirely vaccinated, you can more properly return to undertaking activities you may possibly not have been able to do due to the fact of the pandemic. On the other hand, if you are in an space with a superior range of new COVID-19 instances, the CDC recommends sporting a mask indoors in community and outdoor in crowded areas or when you are in near get hold of with persons who are not entirely vaccinated.

If you have not had a COVID-19 vaccine, you can lessen your possibility of infection from the viruses that trigger COVID-19, colds and the flu by pursuing various standard precautions. Study indicates that pursuing these actions, these types of as social distancing and sporting a facial area mask, may possibly have helped shorten the length of the flu time and lessened the range of persons affected in the 2019-2020 flu time.

Typical precautions to lessen your possibility of COVID-19, colds and the flu contain:

  • Keeping away from near get hold of (inside of six ft, or 2 meters) with any one exterior your house, especially if you have a increased possibility of serious health issues
  • Putting on a facial area mask in indoor community spaces
  • If you are in an space with a superior range of new COVID-19 instances, sporting a mask outdoor in crowded areas or when you are in near get hold of with other individuals who are not entirely vaccinated
  • Washing your hands generally with cleaning soap and drinking water for at least twenty seconds, or using an liquor-primarily based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% liquor
  • Keeping away from crowded indoor spaces
  • Covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Keeping away from touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cleansing and disinfecting superior-touch surfaces, these types of as doorknobs, light-weight switches, electronics and counters, every day

Also, get an once-a-year flu vaccine.

How can you protect against allergic reactions?

The finest way to protect against seasonal allergic reactions is to prevent your regarded triggers. If you are allergic to pollen, keep inside with windows and doorways closed when pollen is superior.

Putting on a fabric facial area mask also may possibly deliver some security against seasonal allergic reactions. Masks can protect against you from inhaling some bigger pollen particles. On the other hand, more compact pollen particles will nevertheless be able to get via a mask. It is really also vital to wash your mask immediately after every use given that a mask may possibly carry pollen particles.

If you assume you may possibly have indicators or signs and symptoms of COVID-19, talk to your health practitioner. Remember, taking preventive actions can help you keep wholesome.