Is it Flu or COVID-19?

We are quickly approaching a season in which both COVID-19 and the flu will be circulating within our communities. Actions should be taken to prevent the spread of both of these illnesses, as they can each become serious and even fatal if not taken seriously. With such similar symptoms, it can be confusing to try and distinguish the flu from COVID-19 (coronavirus). Here’s some tips on what to look for if you get sick this season:

Flu Vs. Coronavirus

The flu is a common yet highly contagious respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. COVID-19 is a new infection or virus that can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. While flu and coronavirus produce many of the same symptoms, there are some distinctive traits of each illness.

Flu symptoms usually come on very quickly and present themselves about two days after exposure to the virus. Flu germs primarily spread through respiratory droplets. Though less common, the flu virus can also spread on surfaces. You can infect someone with the flu virus before, during and after you are sick. The warning signs of flu include the following:

  • Fever/feeling feverish
  • Headache
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Feeling very tired (fatigue)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose

COVID-19 also spreads through respiratory droplets (sneezing, coughing, talking and breathing). Exposure risk increase significantly when you closer than six feet of an infected person for a period of time. With COVID-19, patients can be infected with the virus yet be asymptomatic. However, those who do experience symptoms typically do so within 2 to 14 days of COVID-19 exposure. They can include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Stopping the Spread of the flu and COVID-19

Fortunately, preventing the spread of the flu and COVID-19 involves much of the same practices. At Clear Immediate Care, we encourage all patients to take the following actions during this unprecedented season in which two serious illnesses are prevalent:

  • Practice physical distancing by staying at least six feet away from others
  • Wear a face mask when out in public
  • Wash your hands frequently throughout the day
  • Get your flu vaccine

If you are experiencing symptoms of the flu and/or COVID-19, please contact our Chicago office. Clear Immediate Care proudly offer Flu Testing and Vaccinations for your entire family as well as Rapid and PCR Based Testing for COVID-19.