We’re right in the middle of cold and flu season, with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 looming ahead, and pollen season due to following right after. It’s more important than ever to recognize the differences between COVID-19, the flu, allergies, and the common cold. Misunderstandings about the symptoms lead many people to mistakenly think they just have a cold, when they are really spreading something more sinister.
Don’t be left in the dark about your symptoms. Use this convenient chart to determine which illness you are afflicted with so you can fight it effectively.
|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., 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.|
|Allergies||No, allergies are not contagious.||Almost immediately||Sneezing
Dark circles under the eyes
Eczema-like skin symptoms
|No, however, immunotherapy is available for severe allergy sufferers, which typically requires weekly injections for a period of time.|
|Common Cold||Not as much. Infected patients will spread the cold for 2-3 days after showing symptoms.||2-3 days||Cough
Quality Medical Care in Tampa Bay
If you feel that you have any of the symptoms listed above, contact TLC Medical at (813) 874-1852 to set up an appointment today. We offer same-day, rapid testing and vaccinations for COVID-19, along with care for those suffering from allergies, the common cold, or the flu. No matter what illness you are dealing with, we have the knowledge and resources to help you feel better quickly!