If you’re not feeling yourself and you’re wondering if you have COVID-19 or the flu, know that many of the symptoms of these diseases are alike. Although both of these ailments are respiratory illnesses that are transmittable, the viruses that cause them are not the same. These two diseases share many common symptoms, and it’s important that you know what they are so you can act accordingly and get medical help if you need it. COVID-19 and the flu can cause life-threatening complications, so don’t ignore their warning signs.
One common symptom of COVID-19 and the flu is a fever or feeling like you have a fever. You may also have chills. Coughing is another symptom. Breathing can become difficult, and fatigue is common. Your body may ache and you may have a headache. You may experience throat soreness, and your nose can become stuffed up or runny. Throwing up and loose stools are additional possible symptoms. Though it’s more common with COVID-19 than the flu, you may lose your sense of taste or smell, or these senses may become altered.
Similar complications COVID-19 and the flu share include pneumonia, a buildup of lung fluid, and respiratory failure. Sepsis is another commonly shared complication. Others include heart attack, stroke, organ failure, infection, and inflammation that affects the muscles, brain, and heart. If you already have diabetes or a long-standing lung, heart, or nervous system disorder, these conditions can become more serious.
Flu symptoms usually appear 1 day or up to 4 days after becoming infected. Symptoms of COVID-19 typically manifest approximately 5 days after becoming infected. However, they can appear 2 days after infection or up to 14 days after becoming infected.
Since several of the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are the same, it may be hard to figure out which illness you have. Get tested to know for sure which one you have. Go to your doctor to get information about where you should go to take the tests. Be aware of the fact that it’s possible to become infected with one of these diseases and then the other before recovering from the first one you contracted.