We’re coming out of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and heading full-speed into cold and flu season. Many people mistake COVID-19 symptoms with the common cold or influenza, making disease transmission more likely. While the precautionary measures for each condition are similar, knowing the difference in symptoms is important to identify COVID and quarantine quickly. Use this handy chart to tell if your symptoms are due to COVID-19, the common cold, or the flu.
|Condition||Is it contagious?||How long between exposure and showing symptoms?||Symptoms||Can I prevent it with a vaccine?|
|COVID-19||Yes, especially its variants. Infected patients begin spreading COVID-19 2-3 days before showing symptoms and continue spreading it for three more days after. Some people can even spread COVID-19 without ever showing symptoms.||2-14 days||Body aches
Loss of smell
Loss of taste
Shortness of breath
|Yes, several vaccine options are available in the U.S. for adults, either fully-approved by the FDA or approved for emergency use.|
|Influenza (Flu)||Yes. Infected patients begin spreading the flu 24 hours before showing their first symptoms and continue spreading it for three more days after.||1-4 days||Body aches
|Yes, vaccines for influenza have been available for many years and are recommended annually for most patients.|
|Common Cold||Not as much. Infected patients will spread the cold for 2-3 days after showing symptoms.||2-3 days||Cough
If you live in Tampa Bay and you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, flu, or the common cold, call us at (813) 874-1852 or contact us online to set up an appointment for testing. For COVID-19, we currently provide same-day vaccinations, rapid antigen, rapid antibody, and PCR testing. We can also diagnose influenza and the common cold. Trust our qualified medical team to identify your symptoms, diagnose your condition correctly, and provide the most effective treatment possible for symptom relief.