How Are COVID-19 and the Flu Different?

November 15, 2021

The winter months are not a welcoming time of year for sicknesses—especially during the age of COVID-19. With fewer mask mandates and no more social distancing, the concern of a “twindemic” of the flu and COVID-19 is higher this year than it was last year.

As we enter peak flu season, it’s important to be aware of flu and COVID-19 symptoms. Our team at AFC Urgent Care Farragut provides some helpful info on both illnesses below.

How Do I Know If I Have the Flu?

The flu and the coronavirus share similar symptoms, but they also share some key differences. Typically, unlike COVID-19, flu symptoms come on suddenly. COVID-19 usually doesn’t show symptoms as quickly, and people can be contagious for longer.

An additional defining factor of the flu is that the flu doesn’t usually cause as many serious illnesses as COVID-19. We’ve listed some more common symptoms of the flu below.

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

How Do I Know If I Have COVID-19?

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

Experts say that one of the most telling signs of COVID-19 is a new loss of taste or smell and difficulty breathing. However, since the flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, telling the difference between the two can’t be done by examining symptoms alone. If you experience these symptoms, including some of the ones we’ve listed below, it’s important to schedule a COVID-19 test to get an accurate diagnosis.

Symptoms of COVID-19

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

Remember, AFC Urgent Care Farragut has got your back! Visit us if you feel under the weather today.

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