How Can I Tell Between the Flu and COVID-19?

The flu and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses, but they’re two totally different viruses.

Even though they’re different, how are you supposed to know which one you’re sick with once you start to show symptoms? Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Gastonia provides some helpful answers.

How Are the Flu and COVID-19 Different?

Although both are respiratory illnesses, they’re caused by two different viruses. The flu is caused by the influenza virus, while COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2.

COVID-19 typically causes more severe illnesses than the flu, and it has also shown to be the more contagious illness of the two. Additionally, flu symptoms usually come on strong, while COVID-19 symptoms take longer to develop after testing positive for the virus. We’ve listed some ways you can stay healthy this winter below.

Important Health-Safety Precautions

  • Exercise proper hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette, such as coughing into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Wear a mask in public.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t readily available.

How Can I Know If I Have the Flu Or COVID-19?

If you start feeling under the weather and experiencing any of the symptoms that we’ve listed below, it’s important to get a COVID-19 test. Since the symptoms of the coronavirus and the flu are so similar, the best way to tell which one you have is by getting tested for the coronavirus.

If you don’t have access to a COVID-19 test, however, experts say that some of the tell-tale signs of COVID-19 are a loss of taste or smell and shortness of breath.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19 and the Flu

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever or chills
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Frequent headaches

We are passionate about your health, so don’t hesitate to visit our team at AFC Urgent Care Gastonia if you have any questions or general medical concerns!