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Do I Have COVID or The Flu?

COVID-19 vs. The Flu: How to Spot the Difference

With the 2020-2021 flu season underway, many of us may be feeling more anxiety about developing flu-like symptoms due to the fear of COVID-19.

The first step toward protecting your family's health is to understand the differences between each of these respiratory illnesses, as well as reduce your risks of being exposed.

Commons Signs of the Seasonal Flu

According to the CDC, influenza (the flu) is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus that can be mild to severe. Symptoms of the flu can vary in their severity, but some of the most common signs of the seasonal flu include:

  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Vomiting

Read more: 9 Tips to Ease Flu Symptoms

Commons Signs of COVID-19

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is also a respiratory infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Patients may experience moderate to severe symptoms or may appear to be asymptomatic (showing no signs of symptoms).

The most common signs of COVID-19 are similar to the flu and include:

  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle aches

Though most of the symptoms of COVID-19 are treatable at home, the following are signs you should seek emergency treatment as soon as possible:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Constant pain or pressure in your chest
  • Blue-ish lips or face
  • New loss of taste or smell

Preventing the Spread

COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets and saliva, which means that socially distancing and being mindful of the following protocols can help reduce your risk of contracting the virus:

  • Wear a face mask while in public spaces.
  • Keep at least 6ft from others.
  • Wash your hands often with hot water and soap.
  • Disinfect commonly used surfaces and objects often.
  • Stay home if you display any symptoms of COVID-19.

Read more: The Importance of Washing Your Face Mask

Patients considered high-risk are advised to remain at home and to avoid public hotspots.

The Importance of Getting Vaccinated

The CDC states that getting vaccinated each year is the best way to prevent the influenza virus spread. Flu season runs from October through March, but most cases tend to peak around December.

While it’s recommended that you receive your shot as early in the season as possible, getting your vaccine later can still help protect you. This year, receiving your flu shot is especially crucial as COVID-19 spikes here in Texas, and flu season will occur simultaneously.

COVID-19 and Flu Treatment in Quality Care ER

At Quality Care ER Quality Care ER, we offer the Rapid Antigen, PCR, and Antibody testing for COVID-19. If you feel you've been exposed or are experiencing flu-like symptoms, contact our office to schedule your test. For questions or concerns, contact our office at (903) 417-0886.