Are Your Symptoms COVID-19 Or The Flu?

by Kroger Health Staff

Last Updated: September 10, 2020

Flu season is upon us, and this year, the flu isn’t the only virus causing coughs, fevers, and sore throats. Both the flu and COVID-19 share some common symptoms, making it sometimes difficult to determine which virus is to blame. Though there are commonalities between the flu and COVID-19, there are some key differences that can indicate the causative agent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), common symptoms of both the flu and COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain or body aches, headache, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Both viruses also have the potential to cause no symptoms in some cases or develop severe complications in other cases. Experiencing a new loss of smell or taste, however, is a unique symptom of COVID-19.

Timing of the onset of symptoms can help determine whether the infection is COVID-19 or the flu. With COVID-19, symptoms typically manifest themselves anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms of the flu usually develop more quickly compared to COVID-19, usually within one to four days after exposure.

In some cases, testing may be required to determine which virus is making a person sick. Click here to make an appointment for flu or COVID-19 testing at your local Kroger Health Clinic.

Medical experts are encouraging everyone to get a flu vaccination this season. Flu shots not only reduce the likelihood of contracting the flu and developing severe symptoms, but they also lower the risk of hospitalizations due to the flu - which is important because of how overwhelmed the healthcare system already is as a result of COVID-19. Make an appointment online for you and your family to get your flu vaccination at a Kroger Health Pharmacy or Clinic near you.

Disclaimer: The information in this story is accurate as of its publication. However, the situation surrounding COVID-19 is ever-evolving. We are working to keep our stories up-to-date as changes occur, but we also encourage everyone to check news and recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and their local authorities.