Flu and Covid-19 both are highly contagious respiratory diseases that spreads more widely in the winter season. But, there are some flu symptoms which are diffferent from Covid-19
UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have already warned that there will be lower levels of natural immunity to flu this year after a few winters when people socialized far less due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Symptoms of flu usually come on very quickly and will usually get better on their own after plenty of rest, whereas Covid can take longer for effects to show and people with the virus also tend to be contagious for longer.
COVID-19 and flu symptoms
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
- Nausea or vomiting, but this is more common in children than in adults
The signs and symptoms of both diseases can range from no symptoms to mild or severe symptoms. Because COVID-19 and the flu have similar symptoms, it can be hard to diagnose which condition you have based on your symptoms alone. Testing may be done to see if you have COVID-19 or the flu. You also can have both diseases at the same time.
If you are not sure what symptoms of flu to look for, or how to tell them apart from Covid, these are the main signs to spot:
1. Sudden high temperature
A sudden high temperature of 38 degree celsius or above is a common indication of flu, but it is also one of the key signs of Covid-19. If this is your only symptom it is best to self-isolate and take a lateral flow or PCR test to confirm.
2. Muscle aches
Feeling aches and pains in your whole body is one of the main signs of flu and can be eased with paracetamol or ibuprofen and plenty of rest.
3. Fatigue and exhaustion
While Covid-19 can cause fatigue and exhaustion, it is not considered to be one of the three main symptoms and is more likely to be a sign of a flu infection.
4. Dry cough
A cough is a common symptom of both flu and coronavirus. However, if you have Covid-19 you are more likely to lose your taste and smell in addition to this, which typically will not happen if you have the flu.
5. Sore throat
As flu is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs, it is normal for the throat to feel sore for a few days. Taking paracetamol and drinking plenty of fluids should help to ease the pain.
6. Loss of appetite
A flu infection can cause a loss of appetite for a time until the body has recovered, but this symptom is not commonly associated with Covid-19.
Diarrhoea has been identified as an early sign of coronavirus infection, although it is not considered one of the key symptoms. It usually stops within five to seven days after drinking lots of fluid and getting rest.
8. Nausea and vomiting
It is normal to feel sick and be sick if you have the flu, but again, this is much less common with Covid-19. Be sure to drink plenty of water and rest, and symptoms will usually pass within one to two days.
9. Difficulty sleeping
A combination of feeling hot, coughing, and aches and pains can make sleeping more difficult if you have the flu. A pharmacist can recommend flu remedies to help ease your symptoms but be careful not to take paracetamol and ibuprofen with these as you may exceed the recommended dose.
Source: Mayo Clinic, Thenational