COVID-19, Flu, and Common Colds: Tell the Difference


Are you coughing and showing some flu-like symptoms? If you’re not sure whether you have COVID-19, flu, or just a common cold, then knowing the difference in their symptoms can help.

These three are all respiratory illnesses and can be transmitted from one person to the next. Experts at Ritecare Medical Center in Hialeah discussed the differences between the three:

Fever, cough, and shortness of breath

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fever, cough, and shortness of breath are three of the most common symptoms of COVID-19.

  • FEVER: Dr. John Williams, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital, says that COVID-19 fever may develop in the late afternoon or early evening. The fever is also above 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit as anything lower than that is not a symptom of a virus infection. 
  • COUGH: Dry cough that feels too tight on your chest is a symptom of COVID-19. According to Dr. Williams, you can actually feel the inflammation in your bronchial tubes, unlike a cough that feels like an irritated throat.
  • SHORTNESS OF BREATH: This symptom is a serious one and you must immediately call your healthcare provider or 911. If it’s persistent, you may suffer from hypoxia or decreased oxygen in the tissues. This can make your lips or face bluish and you might feel lethargic. Respiratory distress may follow without appropriate medical care.

Body aches and fatigue

Some COVID-19 patients reported having body aches. This symptom, however, is more common to colds and flu patients. Many COVID-19 patients also reported feeling tired, like their body has been depleted of energy, so they sleep all day and wake up with a respiratory issue.

It must be noted that fatigue is common in both COVID-19 and flu. However, the symptoms of COVID-19 develop gradually and progressively while flu symptoms are abrupt. 

Headache and diarrhea

A small number of COVID-19 patients also complain of headaches or diarrhea, according to the World Health Organization. These symptoms, however, are more pronounced in flu patients. For good measure, try to drink plenty of fluids and check your temperature while monitoring your symptoms. 

If you developed any of these symptoms and have recently traveled to places that are COVID-19 hotspots, or if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, then you must call your doctor’s office and tell them.

Learn more about Ritecare Medical Center in Hialeah

If you have further questions about COVID-19, don’t hesitate to contact our doctors at Ritecare medical center in Hialeah. Our facility is at one with the entire medical community in fighting this pandemic. We have implemented strict preventive measures to ensure the safety of our staff, patients, and the community. If you are looking for a facility that provides COVID-19 testing in Hialeah or Coronavirus testing in Hialeah, don’t hesitate to keep in touch.

At Ritecare, we provide you with excellent, reliable, and affordable care. Don’t forget, we are open 7 days a week and no appointment is necessary. For inquiries, you may call us at (305) 200-1225.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.