Going through the common cold and flu season is difficult enough and with the addition of a new outbreak, your head might be swarming with a lot of questions about how to tell both these viruses apart. And naturally, when to get yourself tested considering how expensive they are!
How Does Coronavirus Correspond to the Flu?
Within a month we all have had our researches up to the mark and we know how the COVID-19 and common flu symptoms have a significant overlap.
Some of the common symptoms include fever, persistent cough, breathing difficulties, and other respiratory problems, fatigue, etc. Especially for this sinister pandemic, doctors have recommended to watch out for these symptoms, specifically when it ranges from moderate to severe.
Here’s the difference. The flu can make you feel like you have the worst cold in your life, however, the symptoms tend to come rather abruptly. The subsequent cold develops gradually with the addition of fever, chills and body aches.
Now, since the flu shares more commonalities with the coronavirus, the key differentiating factor is the patient’s exposure history especially those who have been out and about in the infected counties like China, Japan, Iran, and Italy.
Coronavirus or not, difficulty in breathing is always a matter of concern and if it is serious, there’s nothing that must stop you from your visit to the doctor. Although fever and cough are common, shortness of breath indicates a more significant form of COVID-19 or the flu. Shortness of breath in any form is a red flag, negligence of which can also lead to pneumonia and other complications that can be fatal. Even though the headlines about the people dying from the pandemic are appalling (check out the current updates here,) the estimated fatality rate (which can tend to change in future) for coronavirus is 2 percent, while for flu it’s 0.1 percent.
Apparently, no true denominator can be picked out either especially with the rise of asymptomatic cases all over the world and with the focus on more apparent and severe cases.
Can Coronavirus Be Confused For the Common Cold?
The common cold is more annoying than agonizing and many a time confused with allergies; it is also the most underrated respiratory infections. Not only do the symptoms appear gradually, but they are also short-lived too. It will last up to seven to ten days while the symptoms of flu last for at least two weeks.
Even if it just cold and especially, for now, it is a more prudent choice to stay at home. A majority of people are either asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms which might not make them feel “sick” leaving the strain of coronavirus undetected.
How Do You Know It Is The Time To See a Doctor?
The amount of people getting tested has been increased but the access is still limited, especially for the people who fall on the borderline of the economic structure.
Here are certain guidelines that have been made public:
- Call your doctor first before you make a visit if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and believe you have been exposed to COVID-19. This is how they can take precautions and not spread the virus to other people. To minimize the risk, consulting the doctor virtually has also been caught up in the trend.
- Elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions or parents tending to their children having flu-like symptoms must immediately seek medical advice.
For now, remember that the best thing you can do for yourself and for others around you to minimize the risk is to wash your hands properly, keep the surfaces at your home and your surroundings clean and stay put. Here’s What You Can Do To Keep Coronavirus at Bay.
Don’t worry about feeling stranded because there’s a lot of positive things you can draw out of such a situation. Here is a list of What You Can Do During the Lockdown.
Also, if you want to make some positive changes in your lifestyle, now is the best time. I wrote about some changes you can make to keep yourself engaged during this lockdown period and you can read it here.
Meanwhile, try to stay away from the unnecessary panic and trouble that has been caused by the strings of misinformation floating all around the internet. It is wise to make yourself and those around you aware of What’s True and What’s Not about this whole pandemic crisis.
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