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The Difference Between COVID, the Flu, and a Cold

By: Della Lin

With October coming to an end and November rapidly approaching, flu season is just around the corner. However, with the coronavirus still being so prevalent in our daily lives, how can we possibly tell the difference between having the flu, having COVID-19, or just simply having a minor cold?

When you catch a common cold, you will most likely experience symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, or congestion. Having a common cold is usually not very serious and you should be able to recover quickly within a few days. However, the flu and coronavirus have very similar symptoms, so it can be somewhat difficult to distinguish between them. Similarities include having a fever, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and chills. You could also experience coughing, fatigue and tiredness, muscle pain or body aches, and headaches. Vomiting and diarrhea are other possible symptoms, but they are more common in children than in adults. According to the CDC, the symptoms that are most specific to COVID-19 are shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and loss of taste or smell. If you are experiencing a loss of taste or smell, it is recommended to get tested for COVID as soon as possible. In more serious cases where you have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, immediately go to the hospital to receive treatment and prevent further complications.

During this upcoming flu season, there are a number of precautions that you can take to protect not only yourself but also others. One simple thing you can do is to get the yearly flu vaccine. This will reduce your chance of becoming ill with the flu. Also, anytime you start to feel sick or unwell, make an appointment and go see your doctor. This will prevent the possibility of you spreading your illness to others. Finally, remember to wear your mask to keep yourself and those around you safe and healthy!

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