How To Differentiate Between Cold, Flu And COVID-19: Explains Expert

As the Omicron is having mild symptoms, it is very likely that people get confused whether it is flu, cold or really COVID.

Viruses causing cold. flu and COVID-10 are different.

The number of COVID-19 cases, led by the Omicron variant, continues to rise. The only positive thing amid the rise in the number of cases is that hospitality and the number of deaths are low when compared to all previous variants of the coronavirus, including the Delta. As the Omicron is having mild symptoms, it is very likely that people get confused whether it is flu, cold or really COVID. While influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, the viruses causing them are different. But COVID-19 is known to spread more easily than flu. Understanding the difference between them is important to take all precautionary measures and get timely treatment.

Dr Karthiyayini Mahadevan – Head, Wellness and Wellbeing at Columbia Pacific Communities – has explained the differences between them in very clear and simple way. Check details below.

Features

Cold

Flu

COVID-19

Presenting Symptoms

Most common

Less common

Running nose, sneezing

Fever, sore throat

Headache, running nose, fever

Sore throat

Sore throat, fever, body ache, loss of smell, taste and have diarrhoa

H/o Contact tracing with COVID positive individual either as primary or secondary contact

Not present

Not present

Sometimes present

Onset of symptoms with exposure to symptomatic individuals (Cold, sore throat, cough, fever)

1-3 days

1-4 days

2-14 days

Symptoms appearing 6 weeks post the second dose of vaccination against COVID

Possible

Possible

Unlikely

Algorithm to consider for COVID care is:

Precautions

  • Avoid crowded places
  • Maintain social distancing of 6 feet
  • Always wear a mask when stepping out and definitely in indoor spaces.
  • Maintain hygiene by frequently washing and sanitising your hand
  • Avoid any contact with your eyes, nose and mouth before washing hands when you are outdoors. After returning from outdoors, avoid any contact with your eyes, nose and mouth, until you wash and sanitise your hands.
  • Consume a well-balanced diet and engage in adequate physical activities.
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