The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused more than 90,000 infections and 3,000 deaths globally this winter. With increasing number of coronavirus cases reported in the US, people start to concern about the health of themselves and their loved ones.
The problem is we don’t just have the coronavirus. We also have flu, of which the symptoms are similar to that of coronavirus. So how does the coronavirus differ from flu?
There are 4 warning signs of coronavirus, according to CDC and WHO:
- Shortness of breath
While on the WHO website, the three main symptoms are fever, dry cough and tiredness. WHO also claims that “some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.”
Common flu signs and symptoms are listed on the CDC website:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
You can see from the symptoms of flu and coronavirus that they present high similarity. Patients with both diseases may have fever, cough, body aches and sores, sore throat, etc.
To find out how to differ coronavirus from flu, I searched some info from a Chinese health website, and found that:
- A coronavirus patient usually has dry cough or cough with clear mucus;
- A flu patient usually has cough that brings up yellowish phlegm.
Experts also say that this new strain is more likely to trigger a cough and fever.
The symptoms of coronavirus usually appear 2 – 14 days after contracting the virus, but the incubation period can be up to 24 days.
If you have traveled to any of the affected countries or cities and have a cough, high body temperature or shortness of breath, you should call your doctor and avoid contact with other people.