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Do I Have a Cold, the Flu or COVID-19?

‘Tis the season for more than just being jolly. It’s also the dreaded time of year for coughs, sniffles and scratchy throats. And with the start of cold and flu season coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic it can be confusing to determine what symptoms relate to which illness.

Colds, influenza and COVID-19 can share many of the same symptoms such as cough, body aches and a sore throat. While having a fever tends to relate more to the flu or COVID-19.

If you’re feeling crummy this season, let’s take a look at some common symptoms to help you determine the cause of your illness:

  • Loss of taste/smell:  This often occurs in COVID-19 cases but is rarely found in flu and cold cases.
  • Cough: A mild cough can be associated with a cold and a dry cough often occurs in COVID-19 and flu patients.
  • Fever: A fever is rarely a symptom of the common cold but it often occurs in COVID-19 and flu cases.
  • Sore Throat: A sore throat is more common if you have a cold.  However, some patients complain of a sore or scratchy throat with COVID-19 and the flu.
  • Body aches:  General body aches can be present with COVID-19, colds and the flu.
  • Sneezing:  Sneezing is often seen as a cold symptom. It is not common with the flu or COVID-19.
  • Shortness of breath:  Shortness of breath generally does not occur with a cold or the flu, but it is often a sometimes-serious symptom of COVID-19. 

While this might serve to inform you about some of your symptoms, please remember it is important to contact a health care provider if you have any cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms.

At AFC, we have clinics nationwide and are open and ready to serve you.  Come into your local AFC today or schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment from the comfort of your home.

You don’t have to wonder what your symptoms might mean or suffer at home alone.  Get the medical attention you need today!

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