Differences Between COVID-19, Flu, & Allergies
The coronavirus pandemic continues throughout the United States, and as we enter the fall and winter seasons, we’ll also find ourselves dealing with seasonal allergies and influenza. Unfortunately, the symptoms of COVID-19 are quite similar to other common illnesses, so if you find yourself not feeling well, it can be tough to know what you may be dealing with – at least without a medical exam or test. However, there are some differences between COVID-19, allergies, and flu that may help put your mind at ease.
Flu and COVID-19 are a bit more difficult to distinguish from one another as many symptoms are the same. With influenza, you may have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and vomiting and diarrhea. The flu, however, can cause a mild to severe illness with these symptoms, and most people will recover within a few days or up to two weeks if other health complications do not develop.
Despite the similarities in symptoms between COVID-19 and flu, the coronavirus tends to result in more serious illnesses for some individuals. One of the biggest distinguishing characteristics, however, is the change in or loss of taste or smell. Many will also experience shortness of breath and fatigue. The coronavirus is also considered to be much more contagious than the flu, so any symptoms that may indicate COVID-19 should be taken very seriously.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may feel a little more on edge if your cough feels worse on some days, or your nose tends to run a bit more. The biggest difference between allergies and illnesses like influenza and COVID-19 is that symptoms are more chronic and may be experienced on and off for weeks, months, or even years at a time. When allergies do act up, you more than likely experience things like itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing or headache. If you have a fever, body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea, or diarrhea along with these other symptoms, you may have COVID-19.
Diagnosing the Difference
The only true way to know whether you have been infected with COVID-19 or influenza, or may be suffering from allergies is to be tested and examined. If you are experiencing any symptoms that you are unsure of, or you are concerned may point to COVID-19 or the flu, contact Midwest Express Clinic right away. We will discuss your symptoms to determine if testing may be required and, if so, provide you with instructions for a safe visit to our office.