How do I know I’m experiencing Covid-19, the flu, a cold, or allergies?

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How do I know I’m experiencing Covid-19, the flu, a cold, or allergies?

Have you noticed that you pay more attention to someone who casually coughs or sneezes this winter?  I think we’re all on hyper alert for Covid-19 in others around us, and even for ourselves.  Is that tickle in the back of my throat the flu?  The Mayo Clinic just came out with an article about the similarities and differences between the seasonal flu, a cold, Covid-19, and allergies that you might find very helpful.  Here are the most common differences between the signs & symptoms for each:

Covid-19: A fever, cough, and tiredness, often with diarrhea and loss of smell
Flu: Almost identical to Covid-19, but rarely causes loss of smell
Colds: Only sometimes cause a fever and muscle aches, but never cause vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea
Allergies: Never cause a fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or muscle aches, and rarely cause a sore throat.

The Mayo Clinic has great, quick to read graphs to help you distinguish the similarities and differences in more detail.  Of course these can vary greatly from person to person, so when in doubt, contact your healthcare provider immediately.  Clinics have triage people who can assess your symptoms and get you the help you need.  An interesting note is that you can have the flu and Covid-19 at the same time.  They are different viruses causing their own unique responses within the body and just because you’ve had one doesn’t mean you are immune from getting the other.  That should be motivation to do everything you can to prevent getting a virus.  That includes:

  • Washing your hands often for 20 seconds
  • Avoiding large gatherings or close confinement with people outside of your home
  • Avoiding touching your face, especially your nose
  • Wearing a mask in any spaces that are not your home, or when you are within 6 feet of someone not in your home
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces in your home.

All of these suggestions can help prevent you from getting a cold, the flu, or Covid-19, which could prevent feeling miserable and possibly losing income from staying at home.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Paragon Orthopedic Center wants you to be safe and healthy this holiday season!


Southern Oregon Orthopedics & Paragon Orthopedic Center