What is the difference between a cold, the flu, and COVID-19?
Telling the difference between the common cold, influenza, and COVID-19 can be quite difficult because their symptoms are similar.
Knowing the difference between a cold, the flu, and COVID-19*
|Runny or stuffy nose||X||X||X|
|Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing||X||X|
|Fever or feeling feverish/chills||X||X|
|Muscle pain or body aches||X||X|
|Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)||X||X|
|Change in or loss of taste and smell||X|
If you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, use our MyChart self-checker to determine your next steps.
Still unsure? Have questions? Contact your health care provider today.
COVID-19 also has additional elements to consider:
- COVID-19 is also more contagious and can spread much faster than influenza.
- People with COVID-19 may also experience a more severe lung infection.
- People with COVID-19 are at greater risk of dying either during or after infection.
- In children, COVID-19 can cause a rare, but serious multi-system inflammatory syndrome.