Is it COVID, the flu, or the flu? Different signs in 2022

Flu season is underway, new sub-variants of COVID-19 are rising, and the frequent chilly throughout the colder months means chances are you’ll not know which virus is answerable for your signs.

Medical consultants say overlapping signs could make it tough to determine which virus you’ve got, so it’s essential to get examined, Dr. Benjamin Abramoff, assistant professor of scientific bodily drugs and rehabilitation and director of Penn Medicine’s COVID Assessment and Recovery Clinic. Getting examined for COVID-19 and the flu can assist you perceive the finest plan of action, comparable to speaking to your physician about whether or not or not you must take medicines like Paxlovid or Tamiflu that may shorten the period of the flu and COVID-19. separation from household and for a way lengthy.

What is the distinction between flu and covid?

Both the flu and COVID are respiratory diseases attributable to completely different viruses. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu normally happens between December and February, and the severity of the flu will depend on the season and the way the flu vaccine is in circulation, says Dr. Preeti Malani, an infectious illness doctor at the University of Michigan.

COVID-19 just isn’t tied to a selected season, however consultants predict one other wave of COVID will happen between October and January.

Although the flu or COVID could also be asymptomatic, flu sufferers will expertise signs as quickly as one to 4 days after an infection, whereas COVID sufferers could expertise signs wherever from two to 5 days or as much as 14 days. According to the CDC.

COVID can unfold extra simply than the flu, particularly when persons are asymptomatic.

While the flu and COVID could seem related at first, post-Covid signs comparable to mind fog, fatigue, and modifications in scent or style are distinctive to the virus and are nonetheless being researched.

What are the signs of COVID, the flu, and the flu?

Symptoms of any viral an infection are related, however lack of scent and style is extra frequent if you happen to’re having a chilly or flu-like response to COVID-19, based on the CDC. Here are the signs with info from the AAFA and CDC.

Source: AAFA, CDC

chilly signs

How lengthy does it take for signs to start out: 1-3 days

Fever: Short intervals of fever

Findings: Common

Mouse: no

Fatigue, weak spot: generally

Sneezing: Normal

Cough: Normal (delicate)

Nasal congestion: Common

Sore throat: Common

Headache: hardly ever

Breathing: No

Chest tightness/ache: None

Loss of style/scent: Rare

Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting: hardly ever

Symptoms of the COVID virus

How lengthy does it take for signs to start out: 2-5 days, however as much as 14 days

Fever: Common

Findings: Common

Chill: Normal

Fatigue, weak spot: Common

Sneezing: hardly ever

Cough: Normal (normally dry)

Nasal congestion: Common

Sore throat: Common

Headache: Common

Shortness of breath: Normal

Chest tightness/ache: Occasionally

Loss of style/scent: Common

Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting: Common

Flu signs

How lengthy does it take for signs to start out: 1-4 days

Fever: Common

Findings: Common

Mouse: Sometimes

Fatigue/weak spot: Common

Sneeze: Nope

Cough: Normal (normally dry)

Stuffy nostril: Sometimes

Sore throat: Sometimes

Headache: Common

Breathing: No

Chest tightness/ache: None

Loss of style/scent: Rare

Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting: Uncommon

The AAFA notes that colds and flu may cause bronchial asthma with shortness of breath, chest ache or tightness, and/or speedy respiration.

How unhealthy will flu and COVID be this winter?

While it’s unclear how COVID-19 and the flu will play out in the coming months, consultants have considerations. This season “might be a very unhealthy flu season, with one other potential COVID on high of that,” Abramoff says.

And whereas newly circulating “Omicron spinoffs” like BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 could improve COVID circumstances, consultants say the bivalent COVID booster nonetheless boosts safety.

Abramoff says to remain lively early in the season, get vaccinated, get a booster, and get examined for signs.

Most importantly, do not expose your self to folks if you happen to’re sick, Malani says, noting that it’s essential to remain dwelling from work if you happen to expertise any signs associated to the virus.

“It turns into socially acceptable and it’s actually encouraging when folks say ‘I do not really feel properly’ and ‘I am unable to come to work’.”

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