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How to know if you have the flu or COVID-19

A new report breaks down symptoms of the flu and the novel coronavirus

Dakota Sliva administers a COVID-19 test to a patient as University of Utah Health’s Wellness Bus visits the Sorenson Multicultural Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020.
Dakota Sliva administers a COVID-19 test to a patient as University of Utah Health’s Wellness Bus visits the Sorenson Multicultural Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020.
Yukai Peng, Deseret News

The novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country, impacting thousands every day in the United States.

And to make matters worse — winter is coming. And that means the flu, common cold and allergies will be springing up on us at a rapid rate.

National Jewish Health released a breakdown of symptoms to help people understand if they have allergies, the common cold, influenza or COVID-19.

We’ve rounded up those ideas and break them down below. You can visit National Jewish Health for more information.

Allergies:

  • Symptoms begin gradually
  • Symptoms last during allergy season
  • Dry cough
  • Headaches
  • Itchy eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneeze
  • Sometimes fatigue and weakness
  • Sometimes loss of taste or smell
  • Sometimes sore throat
  • Sometimes shortness of breath

Common cold:

  • Symptoms begin gradually
  • Symptoms last four to 10 days
  • Body aches
  • Chills are less common
  • Dry cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Exposure to germs
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Sometimes loss of taste or smell
  • Sometimes sore throat
  • Sometimes repeated shaking from chills
  • Runny nose
  • Sneeze
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath is less common
  • Fever is less common
  • Headaches are less common

Influenza

  • Symptoms begin abruptly
  • Symptoms last five to seven days
  • Symptoms get worse
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Dry cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Exposure to germs
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Sneeze
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Sometimes loss of taste or smell
  • Sometimes repeated shaking from chills

COVID-19

  • Symptoms begin within 14 days of exposure
  • Symptoms last at different times per person
  • Sometimes repeated shaking from chills
  • Dry cough
  • Exposure to germs
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Fever
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Shortness of breath
  • Symptoms get worse
  • Sometimes body aches
  • Sometimes chills
  • Sometimes headaches
  • Sometimes sneeze
  • Sometimes sore throat
  • Sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Sometimes repeated shaking from chills
  • Nasal congestion is less common
  • Runny nose is less common

A look ahead to the fall

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a recent interview that the United States could be in store for a dark fall if the coronavirus isn’t stopped, which I wrote about for Deseret.com.

  • “For your country right now and for the war that we’re in against COVID-19, I’m asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds.”
  • “I’m not asking some of America to do it. We all gotta do it.”