Winter 2020 – What You Need to Know About the Flu, Cold, and COVID-19

2020 has been an interesting year. As winter approaches and the year comes to an end, it doesn’t appear the inconveniences of 2020 are going anywhere anytime soon. The best thing you can do to continue leading as normal of a life as possible this winter is to stay informed and stay prepared. The COVID-19 risk continues to persist, but influenza and the common cold are on the rise too. Check out this easy overview of everything you need to know to tell the difference between the flu, cold, and COVID-19.

Influenza and COVID-19

Influenza and COVID-19 have a lot of similarities when it comes to the symptoms they cause. Symptoms that they share include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Flu symptoms come on suddenly, while COVID-19 symptoms can appear anywhere from 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus. COVID-19 patients may notice a sudden loss of taste or smell, which is not a symptom of the flu. COVID-19 can also cause shortness of breath or difficulty breathing in severe cases while the flu does not. 

The Common Cold

The common cold is less severe than the flu or COVID-19 and rarely ever results in hospitalization. Cold symptoms tend to come on gradually. You may notice a runny or stuffy nose, headache, post-nasal drip, fatigue, watery eyes, and sneezing. Cold symptoms can typically be managed using over the counter medications, rest, and hydration. A cold does not cause a fever like the flu and COVID-19, so that’s one of the easiest ways to tell them apart.

Visiting an Urgent Care Center

If you believe you have COVID-19 or the flu, or if your cold symptoms persist for more than 7 days, it’s time to seek immediate medical care. AFC Urgent Care Cedar Grove can evaluate your symptoms and provide COVID-19 tested if needed. They can also provide prescription medications to help manage your symptoms. If you’re sick, don’t hesitate to contact a nearby urgent care center for same-day treatment and testing. The quicker you know for sure what illness you have, the quicker you can start healing effectively! AFC Urgent Care Cedar Grove can also provide you with a flu shot and the latest information on COVID-19 in your area to minimize your risk of illness this winter. For questions about COVID-19 testing, please call 973-239-2300.