What should I know flu symptoms vs. COVID-19 symptoms?

September 28, 2021

The fall 2021 season presents significant challenges for patients that need to stay healthy from the spread of seasonal illnesses and viruses. The obviously public health concern with COVID-19 adds onto other seasonal risks of flu season and the spread of the flu virus. When both viruses are likely to spread it helps to understand your illness risks and evaluate your symptoms.

Patients may overact and assume that sudden seasonal illness symptoms, like fever and congestion, are a cause of the COVID-19 virus. But it is equally important to evaluate flu as a potential cause of these symptoms. Understanding each type of virus and the risk factors, as well as the difference in symptoms, can help patients plan their treatment in the most effective way possible.

If you believe you have a COVID-19 infection from recent exposure then make sure you book urgent care at any of our AFC Urgent Care Denver locations today. Patients that know family or friends with flu cases may want to book their flu shot at our walk-in clinic locations as well.

Below, we've outlined a preventive care guide that can help you evaluate COVID and flu risks, and determine the appropriate option for treatment:

Evaluate your local community's COVID and flu exposure

Seasonal illnesses can spread rapidly throughout a local community at the start of the fall season and the later winter season. Stay on the lookout for public health updates from your local health department, local news, and other official communications from public health experts.

Understanding if your community has recent cases of COVID, flu, or possibly both, can help patients evaluate and assess their current risks. If your community experiences a sudden increase of flu cases, then it is more likely that any onset symptoms are the cause of the flu. Conversely, a sharp rise in COVID cases along with recent exposure to an infected patient would warrant a COVID-19 test.

COVID-19 symptoms are more intense and longer-lasting than typical flu symptoms

When patients have a local community risk of COVID-19 and flu infections it helps to understand how COVID and flu symptoms differ.

Generally, COVID-19 symptoms start out the same as flu symptoms: nausea, fever, headache, congestion, fatigue, and similar symptoms progress over a few days. But the intensity and length of COVID-19 symptoms are greater than flu symptoms. Flu symptoms typically last for a few days to a week while COVID symptoms may last longer than a week or two. In rare cases, patients can experience "long-haul" COVID symptoms that linger throughout several weeks.

Book flu shots and COVID-19 testing at AFC Urgent Care Denver to stay safe this fall

When patients need to stay safe this fall from seasonal illnesses, COVID, and the flu it helps to book or visit AFC Urgent Care Denver locations across Denver and Aurora, CO. We provide accessible walk-in clinic options for patients that want an early flu shot and several COVID-19 testing locations that provide fast, same-day results.

The fall season should be enjoyed symptom-free by all patients and our urgent care team is ready to give patients the best urgent care option to enjoy the season! Learn more on our home page or use the "locations" tab to find the nearest AFC Denver location!


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