Covid vs Flu Symptoms: The Differences and Similarities

Category: Healthy Living


Posted on December 27, 2022

Scott is passionate about health and wellness, and enjoys writing on various topic surrounding these fields. Scott lives in Seattle and spends his free time restoring old furniture and playing pickleball with his friends.

Covid vs flu

Covid. It flipped the world upside down, and when it first broke, people were trying to figure out every possible symptom of it. 

The virus has spread rapidly across the world, with over 640 million covid cases since its inception in 2020 as of December 2022. 

However, one thing people have had trouble with when it comes to this is distinguishing it from the flu. Some people argue that the signs of the flu are very similar to covid. 

So, what are the differences between covid vs. the flu? What are the biggest things that stand out for each? 

This is your guide. 

Flu Symptoms 

Let's start with the flu. Before covid appeared, this was the thing that a lot of people thought they had when they had some of the symptoms that we will discuss below. 

For most of the population, this is not something to worry about. However, it can still have a very bad effect on vulnerable populations such as those that are older, those that already have chronic health conditions, and those that are vulnerable to certain conditions the flu can cause. 

Two things that can help distinguish the flu from covid are the time that you can get it and the exposure period. With the flu, symptoms will show up four days at the latest after exposure. As for how contagious you are, this lasts from a day before your first symptoms to five days after your first symptoms. 

The biggest signs of the flu include fever, coughing, or muscle aches and pains. However, there are other frequent symptoms that you should be aware of. 

These symptoms include a headache, runny nose, sore throat, loss of appetite, chills, and more. Most of the time, things such as water, medication, and rest will help relieve these symptoms. 

However, you need to watch out for the flu in more severe cases. In those situations, make sure that this does not lead to pneumonia or respiratory failure. If you already have a chronic health condition, a severe case of the flu could take that condition over the top. 

When you see signs of these symptoms, try to stay inside, get some rest, and keep some distance from other people for a few days. Then, you will be fresh and ready to go after you give yourself the proper time to recover. 

Covid Symptoms 

So, after discussing what symptoms you could get from the flu, we will now move on to signs of covid symptoms. If you are worried about getting covid or getting exposed to it again, pay attention to these specific symptoms and see if you have covid. 

One thing that is important to keep in mind is that there are many different covid variants out there. What that means is that because of the variety of variants people are exposed to, two people with covid could have completely different symptoms. 

There are quite a few similar symptoms to covid as there are with the flu. Some of these include fever, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, and more. 

However, there are also a few symptoms that can help you distinguish covid from the flu. Some of these symptoms include a loss of smell, loss of taste, and shortness of breath. 

Another thing that may be able to help you distinguish covid from the flu is the exposure time it can take for symptoms to show up. The flu will show up within four days. With covid, it can take up to 14 days to show up, but it will usually appear within a week. 

So, let's say that the last time you went out of your house was a week ago. Then, you start to not feel well and wonder how you could have gotten exposed. In this scenario, it is far more likely to be covid than the flu. 

Treating Covid and the Flu 

If you are not feeling well or you feel like you are down for the count, you may want to know how you can treat both of these viruses. Well, the easiest thing that you can do for both is to keep up with your vaccines and shots. 

At the time of writing, both covid and the flu offer a yearly shot that you can use to try and prevent these viruses from popping up in the first place. Even if they do, the symptoms are likely to be far less severe with these vaccines and shots. 

If you forgot to get your covid vaccine or flu shot before these symptoms came up, there are still things that you can do to treat it. The first thing you will want to do is rest and keep your distance from other people while you are contagious. 

When it comes to covid, take a test at your nearest primary care facility or even get a take-home test kit. Then, you can know for sure whether you have covid or not. 

For both, you may be able to find the medication you need at your local or online pharmacy

Know Covid vs. the Flu 

These are the biggest things that you should know about covid vs. the flu. While there are similar symptoms, there are a few that distinguish covid, such as shortness of breath, loss of smell, and loss of taste. 

Get tested immediately and find out the recommended medication for you. To fill out a prescription, you can use our online store by creating an account with us today. 

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