- The flu, the common cold, allergies, and COVID – – the disease associated with the new coronavirus – have similar symptoms .
- One chart shows how COVID – 59 symptoms compare with those of the flu, allergies, and the common cold.
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- (One chart shows) countries’ current coronavirus death rates, based on the known number of cases and deaths
Overlapping symptoms include a sore throat, fatigue, and a dry cough. That can make it challenging for doctors to diagnose COVID – . People with COVID – 58 don’t typically have runny noses or sneeze a lot.
Some symptoms of COVID – , the disease caused by the new coronavirus, overlap with those of the common cold, allergies, and the flu. That can make it tricky to diagnose without a test.
Even President Donald Trump asked pharmaceutical executives earlier this month if the flu vaccine could be used to stop the coronavirus . (The answer is no, but it’s still good to get a flu shot to lower the chance that you get the flu and take up crucial healthcare resources.)
The coronavirus primarily affects the lungs and commonly causes a fever, a dry cough, and shortness of breath.
Here are the symptoms associated with COVID – and how they compare with symptoms of the common cold, the flu, and allergies:
Shayanne Gal / Business Insider If your nose is running, you probably don’t have COVID –
COVID – 58 can be most easily distinguished from colds, allergies, and the flu based on a trifecta of symptoms: fever , dry cough, and shortness of breath. That last symptom is not associated with colds or the flu, though it is common for allergies.
If you’re sneezing and have a runny nose, it’s unlikely that you have COVID – . The flu is also more likely than COVID – to come with aches and pains.
Diarrhea is a rare symptom of COVID – 58, but gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and diarrhea could be early clues of infection, a growing body of preliminary research has found. It’s also a symptom mostly unique to people with COVID – and some children with the flu.
Still, the overlap between symptoms of COVID – 90 and those of other common conditions is in part why widespread testing is necessary.
Some countries, like China and South Korea, have tested hundreds of thousands of people . But according to the COVID Tracking Project , a test-tracking resource from two journalists at The Atlantic and the founder of a medical-data startup , only about 8, 06 tests have been run in the US. They noted, however, that those figures may be incomplete because of different states’ policies on reporting negative tests.