New Delhi: How do you know if you have a cold, the flu or COVID-19? Experts and scientists say the best way to find out is by getting yourself tested. Recently, there have been a spike of coinfection cases spike in the country as many reported similar symptoms of COVID. World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that there may be an increase of coinfection cases.Also Read – COVID-19 And Air Pollution: This Study Reveals Air Pollution May Increase COVID Severity, Even For Vaccinated
The viruses that cause colds, the flu and COVID-19 are spread the same way — through droplets from the nose and mouth of infected people. And they can all be spread before a person realizes they are infected. The time varies for when someone with any of the illnesses will start feeling sick. Some people infected with the coronavirus don’t experience any symptoms, but it’s still possible for them to spread it.
Cough, fever, tiredness and muscle aches are common to both the flu and COVID-19, says Kristen Coleman, as assistant research professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Symptoms specific to COVID-19 include the loss of taste or smell.
Common colds, meanwhile, tend to be milder with symptoms including a stuffy nose and sore throat. Fevers are more common with the flu.
IS COINFECTION DANGEROUS
Despite some false portrayals online, the viruses have not merged to create a new illness. But it’s possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which some are calling “flurona”. “A co-infection of any kind can be severe or worsen your symptoms altogether,” says Coleman. “If influenza cases continue to rise, we can expect to see more of these types of viral co-infections in the coming weeks or months.”
With many similar symptoms caused by the three virus types, testing remains the best option to determine which one you may have. At-home tests for flu aren’t as widely available as those for COVID-19, but some pharmacies offer testing for both viruses at the same time, Coleman notes. This can help doctors prescribe the right treatment.
SYMPTOMS OF COVID
- Sore throat
- Gastrointestinal problem
- Loss of sense of smell and taste
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
SYMPTOMS OF FLU
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches