Cold, flu, allergies symptoms are all similar to Covid-19 symptoms. This is how to find the differences between all of them

There are numerous symptoms shared by the common cold, influenza, allergies, and COVID-19.

Occasionally, it may be difficult to identify the condition that one is feeling.

How then can you distinguish between allergies, a common cold, influenza, and COVID-19?

The most notable change is the shortness of breath caused by COVID-19. Unless they advance to pneumonia, the flu or cold do not cause shortness of breath.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Dry Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

A cold, which can be caused by over 200 different viruses, can be unpleasant but is often safe. It often resolves on its own over a period of time, however it can occasionally lead to secondary infections, such as ear infections. Common cold symptoms include sneezing, a stuffy nose, a sore throat, mild to severe chest pain, and coughing.

Influenza can cause severe consequences, including pneumonia and even death. What may appear to be a cold may actually be influenza. Symptoms include fever or feverishness, cough, muscular or body pains, headache, exhaustion, runny or stuffy nose, and sore throat.

Typically, allergies are chronic illnesses manifesting intermittently, maybe depending on the season or the surroundings. Allergy sufferers have itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, and nasal congestion.

Despite some overlap, COVID-19 symptoms are more akin to those of influenza than to those of the common cold or allergies.

Reduce the risk of illness

So, you’ve decided you want to avoid all of the above.

How do you protect yourself from COVID-19?

  • Get vaccinated, and if you’ve previously been immunized, get a booster.
  • As mandated by CDC standards and based on the transmission rate in your neighborhood, wear a face mask when in public.
  • Hands should be washed often with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If you do not have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer often. Ensure that it contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Do not contact your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Touch “high-touch” public surfaces such as doorknobs as little as possible. Avoid shaking hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then discard the tissue. If you are without tissues, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
  • Stay away from unhealthy individuals.
  • Check the household supplies. Consider maintaining a two-week supply of medications, food, and other necessities.
  • Do not share eating and drinking implements with ill individuals.
  • Do not kiss a sick individual.
  • Frequently clean surfaces with disinfectant.

How do you prevent the common cold?

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your nose or eyes, especially while around sick people.
  • Clean surfaces with disinfectants that kill viruses to halt the spread of colds.

And how do you prevent the flu?

  • Each year, get a flu vaccination as soon as it is available. The CDC advises that babies older than six months, as well as all children and adults, receive annual vaccinations.
  • Wash your hands before eating, and avoid touching your face or putting your hands in your mouth. Wash for at least 20 seconds with standard soap.
  • If a member of your household has influenza, disinfect surfaces using a cleaning solution containing chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents, iodophors, or alcohols. Viruses are also destroyed by temperatures exceeding 167 degrees.
  • Increase the humidity in your house or place of business. The influenza virus is more prevalent in dry nasal and oral passages. By increasing humidity, your body will be better equipped to eliminate the influenza virus.

And what about allergies?

There is nothing you can do to avoid allergies, but you can reduce their symptoms by:

  • Environmental management, such as employing air conditioning during pollen season.
  • Avoid environments with high levels of dust, mites, and mold.
  • If you have an allergy to pet dander, you should avoid pets.

Still uncertain about the symptoms you could be experiencing?

Visit OSF OnCall for a consultation with a health care professional, or converse with Clare, our chatbot, who will assess your symptoms and lead you to the appropriate sort of care.

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