Is It Flu or Covid?
There is no question this 2022/2023 Cold and Flu season is a doozy. There are a range of harsh viruses going around, and it can be hard to decipher which virus you are experiencing, and when a visit to the doc is necessary. The hardest part is many of the viruses circulating share the same symptoms. There are a few key differences sometimes, but you must also note that not everyone will experience symptoms the same or even the same symptoms at all. Viruses and individual immune systems are tricky like that.
Flu vs. Covid 19
The Flu (influenza) and Covid-19 are two different viruses that tend to cause similar symptoms and spread the same way. Because the symptoms overlap so much, it can be very difficult to determine WHICH virus you have without getting formerly tested. The Flu is caused by the influenza virus, and there are different types of influenza viruses as well, so even though it is referred to in an all encompassing manner, there are a number of variations you can experience. This is also true for Covid, which is caused by the SARS – CoV-2 virus – there are a number of variations. Both carry the main symptoms of fever and chills, cough, headaches and body aches.
Both Covid and the Flu virus spread in a similar fashion. These viruses are transmitted by small particles that are airborne and enter the environment when you sneeze, cough, talk, etc.. making it easy to infect people within a small vicinity of you. Sometimes you may not have symptoms but still be carrying and therefore spreading the virus. You can be asymptomatic in the early stages before your symptoms begin to develop, or in rarer but possible circumstances you can carry the virus without ever experiencing symptoms at all.
Covid symptoms often take longer than the flu symptoms do to develop, but not always. The average person with the flu experiences symptoms within 1-4 days after being infected, whereas a person infected with Covid may take up to 5 days after infection to see the first sign of symptoms, but this can also range from 2 to 14 days.
One of the most stand out symptoms of Covid when compared to the symptoms of the flu is that with Covid some may experience a loss of smell and/or taste.
All in all – the only way to really be sure Which if either of these viruses you have is to get tested at a pharmacy or healthcare facility. There are some test kits approved to use at home for Covid-19, but the accuracy rate and margin for error is higher when performing an at home test.
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