Do I have seasonal flu or Covid-19? Or is it just the common cold or allergies? It’s a question our Healthy Connections providers are frequently asked – especially right now.
Similar symptoms exist for all four conditions – especially Covid-19 and flu – making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with a cold, the flu, Covid-19, or just experiencing seasonal allergies.
Call 888-710-8220 to make an appointment with a Healthy Connections primary care provider. Find a central or western Arkansas location near you by visiting www.healthy-connections.org/locations.
Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
The differences are slight but can be telling. Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms associated with both. Covid-19 can differ from the flu with other signs and symptoms that include a change in or loss of taste or smell.
Most people who get flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death. Learn more about the flu at www.healthy-connections.org/flu.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Learn more about Covid-19 at www.gettestedfree.com.
If you think you may have either the flu or Covid-19, Healthy Connections can test you at any of our central and western Arkansas clinics. Call 888-710-8220 for appointments. Or visit www.healthy-connectons.org/locations to find the clinic nearest to you.
The common cold also has some similar symptoms to Covid-19 and seasonal flu. Cold symptoms include a mild cough, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, short fever period, and body aches and pains.
Allergy symptoms may have some of those symptoms but rarely include a cough.
At this time, there is no vaccine for Covid-19. But there is a seasonal flu vaccine. Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself, your friends, and your family. It could also help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Flu shots are now available at the Healthy Connections clinic location near you. We’ve taken steps to make your visit safe and convenient, so you can feel good about protecting yourself and your loved ones.
Your flu shot may be done at no cost to you. If you are insured through the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Part B, or most other health insurance plans, you should be able to get your flu shot for free. However, before you go, remember that you may still have to pay for the office visit, depending on your coverage. Call 888-710-8220 for more information.
It is recommended that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season (with rare exceptions). Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from the flu.
The flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and death.