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What's Are the Differences Between COVID-19 and the Flu?

COVID-19 and the flu are both viral respiratory infections and their symptoms are very similar; however, they aren't the same sickness.

If you have been feeling under the weather this winter and your symptoms line up with both of these viruses, it's very important to know which one you have. Our team at AFC Urgent Care Centennial highlights the key differences between the viruses below.

How Do I Know If I Have COVID-19?

The only definitive way to know if you have the coronavirus is by getting a positive test when you experience some of the below symptoms.

If you don't have immediate access to a COVID-19 test, however, experts do say that one of the most telling signs of COVID-19 is a new loss of taste or smell.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever or chills
  • Headaches

How Do I Know If I Have the Flu?

As we said earlier, the flu and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by two different viruses. The flu is caused by an infection with influenza viruses, and COVID-19 is caused by an infection with a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.

Additionally, the big difference between the flu and the coronavirus is that, even though flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms look a lot alike, flu symptoms come on hard and fast. The flu can also largely be prevented with a vaccine, so get yours if you haven’t already.

Common Flu Symptoms

  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Pain and tiredness around the eyes
  • Weakness or extreme fatigue
  • Warm, flushed skin and red, watery eyes
  • Frequent headaches
  • Fever

If you find yourself feeling under the weather, it's important to monitor your symptoms. AFC Urgent Care Centennial is here for you no matter your diagnosis, so don't hesitate to visit us!

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