COVID-19 shares a lot of common symptoms with many other viruses. This time of year, it can be hard to tell the difference between COVID and the flu. Understanding the differences is a crucial way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this flu season. Preliminary CDC data has shown that up to 56 million people have been infected with the flu for the 2019 to 2020 season. With that number still climbing, adding COVID into the mix will make for a deadly winter. AFC Urgent Care Malden is here to provide you with the information you will need to stay safe.
Influenza (the flu) affects millions of people per year. It is a respiratory illness that is spread through droplets from the nose or mouth that are inhaled by another person nearby. The best way to protect yourself from the flu is by receiving a flu shot. On the off chance you still catch the flu even after receiving the vaccination, your symptoms will be significantly less. Symptoms of the flu include:
- Fever, with body chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
If you do catch the flu this season, it’s important to keep your distance from other people and wash your hands frequently. Symptoms typically show up between 1 and 3 days after exposure. This is the most significant difference from COVID. Symptoms will show up all at once and quickly after infection. It is possible to be contagious one day before experiencing symptoms.
As of November 2020, there have been almost 56 million cases of COVID worldwide. While this number is very similar to flu cases, it is assumed that COVID is more contagious than the flu. There is currently no vaccine for COVID. The best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is by washing your hands frequently, wearing a mask covering your nose and mouth, and staying a distance of 6 feet from others. Symptoms of COVID include:
- Shortness of breath
- New loss of taste or smell
While these symptoms are very similar to the flu, if you experience any loss of senses, it is clear that it is COVID. There are no known cases of the flu that cause the loss of taste or smell. Most patients of COVID do not experience any symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, they can show up between two and ten days after exposure. It is possible to be contagious two days before showing signs. If you have been around someone who has tested positive, the only way to know for sure is by getting tested. AFC Urgent Care Malden offers PCR Diagnostic Testing for COVID. Results are available within three to five days, but it’s essential to quarantine until knowing for certain.