How to know if you have Covid-19 or influenza

How to know if you have Covid-19 or influenza

Although the only way to know if you have coronavirus is with a PCR test, there are some signs that can reveal whether it is Covid-19 or influenza.

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Autumn marks the beginning of the flu season, the time of year in which the viruses that cause this disease circulate at the highest speed, but… what is the difference between Covid-19 and influenza? Are there any symptoms to differentiate them?

What is the difference between Covid-19, influenza and a common cold?

Although in all cases they are viruses, the difference between the three diseases is in the class of pathogen and its severity:

Covid-19 is a new coronavirus identified at the end of 2019 that not only damages the respiratory system and can be potentially serious in people with comorbidities, while the influenza seasonal is caused by four types of virus, is more common during the fall and winter and is a less serious disease than the coronavirus.

He common cold It is a milder illness than influenza, caused by more than 100 different types of viruses and its main symptoms are runny nose and nasal congestion, which disappear after a few days.

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Covid-19 or influenza: is it possible to differentiate the symptoms?

The three most common symptoms of coronavirus according to the WHO are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. However, dozens of diseases share this picture and by themselves, it is difficult to know if it is Covid-19, influenza or the action of a different pathogen.

The two diseases are spread through droplets small letters that sick people expel when they exhale, cough, sneeze or speak; however, it is shown that Covid-19 spreads more easily than influenza, especially in closed and poorly ventilated spaces.

Sneezing and runny nose

According to statistics, sneezing and a runny nose They are symptoms of the common cold, which are very difficult to manifest in influenza and do not usually appear in people with Covid-19.

While at the other extreme, the fever, he headache and the diarrhea in most cases they are warnings that it is something more than the common cold.

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A key symptom of Covid-19

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Although the only way to know if it is coronavirus is to do a CPR test, there is a key symptom that can differentiate between Covid-19 and influenza: lloss of smell and taste.

Although at the beginning of the pandemic it was not a manifestation that attracted the attention of doctors, with the passage of time the positive cases in which patients manifested their inability to smell even the strongest aromas (such as vinegar or onion) confirmed the pattern.

Currently, the loss of smell It is one of the most characteristic symptoms of Covid-19. The studies handle a variable percentage of appearance, which ranges from 25 to 80% of cases, while influenza does not cause this symptom.

Despite these differences collected after observing tens of thousands of cases, it is best to go to the doctor and have a test to know for sure what it is.

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Symptoms of severe Covid-19

Another symptom that appears more often when it comes to Covid-19 is the difficulty breathing, especially in severe cases that require urgent medical attention.

This is the first of different manifestations that show a serious infection and that if it evolves without treatment, it can be life threatening.

Other severe Covid-19 symptoms that signify a medical emergency are severe pain or pressure in the chest, lips or face of a bluish hue, and confusion or difficulty moving.


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