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Is It the Flu or COVID-19?

The flu and COVID-19 share some symptom similarities, but there are also a few differences. Below is a reference chart with information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from September 2020, as information continues to evolve about COVID-19. Not all people experience all symptoms of both the flu and COVID-19.

Both Flu & COVID-19 COVID-19 Flu
Fever or feeling feverish/chills Symptoms typically appear 5 days after infection, but can be as soon as 2 days and as long as 14 days Symptoms typically appear 1-4 days after infection
Headache Loss of taste Emergency Symptoms of Flu in Adults:
Cough Loss of smell Not urinating*
Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath* Nausea or vomiting Persistent chest or abdominal pain*
Fatigue Diarrhea Persistent dizziness or confusion*
Sore throat New confusion* Seizures*
Runny or stuffy nose Bluish lips or face* Severe weakness*
Muscle pain or body aches Chest pain or pressure* Cough or fever that get better, then worse*
Vomiting and diarrhea are more common in children than adults Inability to stay awake* Worsening of chronic conditions*

*Seek emergency care

The flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses, and the difference can be undetectable by symptoms alone. Seek a test to confirm a diagnosis. Please don’t delay care.

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Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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