Symptoms of COVID-19 and flu are more similar—but there are a few differences too.
Did you have fever, cough, or body ache these past few weeks? You are not alone: it’s almost like most Filipinos have been experiencing these same symptoms. It can be concerning to experience signs and symptoms similar to COVID-19, but given the cold weather, it can be symptoms of flu too.
Unfortunately, symptoms of COVID-19 and flu have many similarities, but there are differences too.
Other dominant symptoms of COVID include loss of taste and smell. Other distinct symptoms of COVID are chest pains and shortness of breath. COVID-19 symptoms appear gradually compared to flu, while symptoms of flu appear faster since exposure. Experts say an antigen or RT-PCR test is the best way to determine if your infection is flu or COVID-19.
One of the most distinct differences between flu and COVID-19 is the incubation period. Symptoms of flu appear one to four days from the initial day of infection. For signs and symptoms, COVID-19 seems to appear at least five days after getting infected, but it can also be two to 14 days after infection.
Asymptomatic count days after they tested positive. Asymptomatic and infected people can be contagious at least ten days after the first day of symptoms for symptomatic. An infected individual can spread both flu and COVID for at least one day upon signs and symptoms of infection. However, a person with COVID-19 infection is more contagious than those with flu.
Flu infection can also be contagious for infants and people with weak immune systems. Adults and older children with flu can be primarily infectious for three to four days, but some can be for up to seven days.
Cure and prevention
Signs and symptoms of infection for COVID-19 and flu can be prevented by proper handwashing, wearing face masks, and physical distancing. Flu vaccines can also help prevent, but it doesn’t prevent COVID-19 infection.
As for the treatment, you can take antiviral drugs for symptoms of flu. As of writing, COVID-19 has only one antiviral drug—remdesirivir, but experts are now evaluating drugs that can ease symptoms of COVID.
Suppose you have any symptoms of flu-like, assume it’s COVID until proven otherwise; better isolate not to spread the infection.
All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. However, while we are making our utmost effort to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the condition surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable, and the situation develops rapidly. Hence, some information and recommendations may have changed since this article was published. For the latest advice, visit DOH and your LGU's official websites
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About Ursula Pertez
You can find Ursula Pertez at the nearest coffee shop in her neighborhood, typing fan fictions on her laptop. When she’s not daydreaming, you can find her watching adorable dog videos on Tiktok.
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