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Is It the Flu or COVID-19?

Is It the Flu or COVID-19? 

“Do I have flu or COVID?”

That question is often on many people’s minds as a highly contagious variant of COVID-19 sweeps the country during the heart of flu season. Texas alone had a 400 percent increase in confirmed covid cases in January of 2022 compared to 2021. 

Meanwhile, flu is rising, with the CDC reporting a 10.9 percent rise in cases over the last few weeks. 

Unfortunately, some of the same symptoms for this year’s influenza are the same for COVID-19. But the diseases are not the same, even though they are both caused by highly contagious viruses and know no borders.

Most importantly, COVID-19 is potentially more lethal than the flu, although thousands of people are hospitalized from complications brought on by influenza every year.

In the following article, we’ll help you determine if you have flu or COVID symptoms and help you answer the question: “Do I have the flu or COVID?”

Influenza Symptoms

The flu is not the common cold, and symptoms can range from slight to severe. Influenza can lead to hospitalizations and even death. The flu comes on quickly and can subside in a few days, or in the worst cases, in a few weeks.

Symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Cough or sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Aches and pains
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Stomach issues and vomiting
  • Fever (although not in all cases) 

One of the most deadly complications of influenza is the development of pneumonia, a result of extensive virus infection with bacterial complications. 

COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID seems to spread more quickly than the flu, especially the latest Omicron variant. 

COVID is hands down, more deadly than the flu. Moreover, it causes more severe diseases in more people than the current variations of the flu. 

Since many of the symptoms of the flu and COVID are the same and they are both respiratory diseases, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the two without testing. 

Symptoms for COVID-19 include: 

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Cough or sore throat
  • Aches and pains
  • Stomach issue and possible vomiting
  • A change or absence of taste and smell

Unfortunately, people can have COVID and the flu simultaneously since the viruses are not related in any way. 

Exposure to Symptoms

One of the most significant differences between the two viruses is how long it takes for infected people to develop symptoms. A person with COVID-19 will take longer to develop symptoms than those infected with other flu.

In many cases, people infected with the flu show symptoms only after a day, while those with COVID show symptoms after five days of being infected.

For both diseases, infected people can spread the disease one day after being infected. 

Do I Have Flu Or COVID? 

If you need an ER in Corpus Christi, TX because you’re concerned about your flu or COVID symptoms, then don’t hesitate to go and get tested. A test is the best way to determine your exposure and your need for quarantine measures. 

Also, vaccination is the best way to reduce symptoms, avoid exposure, and reduce the spread of both the flu and COVID. 

For more information about the flu or COVID-19, contact us today.

Sources:

“Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm

New York Times staff, “Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count” The New York Times, Jan. 12, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/covid-cases.html

Harvard Medical School staff, “COVID-19 Basics” Harvard Health Publishing, https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-basics