You’ve got a sore throat, a throbbing headache, and now you’re running a fever. Is it a cold, COVID, or the flu? All three are contagious respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms. And while colds are generally mild and do not result in serious health problems, COVID-19 and influenza can lead to serious, even life-threatening, complications. So how do you know what’s what?
The only way to truly know if you’re suffering from a cold, the flu or C OVID-19 is to be tested. Get tested for flu and COVID- 19 today at Prognify Urgent Care to ensure you get a proper diagnosis and the right treatment plan.
While over 200 viruses can lead to a cold, the rhinovirus is the most likely cause. Symptoms of a common cold are generally mild, last from 7-10 days, and include:
Cold infections are spread through the air and close personal contact. You can catch a cold at any time of the year. The best medicine is to rest and drink plenty of fluids. You can reduce your risk by washing your hands often, not touching your face, disinfecting surfaces, and staying away from people who are sick. Sound familiar? These are the same hygiene measures for preventing COVID-19.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by influenza viruses. It occurs seasonally (October through May). Influenza spreads through droplets in the air when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. Flu symptoms generally have a sudden onset, can range from mild to severe, and include:
Children and some adults may also experience vomiting and diarrhea.
Young children, older adults (65+), pregnant women, and people with certain chronic illnesses are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu. The best way to protect yourself, and those more vulnerable, is to get an annual flu shot.
If you come down with the flu, Prognify Urgent Care can help. Our providers can prescribe an antiviral medication proven to lessen the severity and duration of flu illness. When taken promptly, antivirals can reduce the time you are sick by 1-2 days, ease symptoms, and prevent serious complications, such as pneumonia. Get a test at the first sign of symptoms for better outcomes.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Like cold and flu, COVID-19 is an airborne illness. It spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These particles can be breathed in by others, or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth.
Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people can become severely ill. Symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, and include:
Get a COVID-19 test if you are exhibiting symptoms, or if you’ve been around someone who tested positive. The CDC offers more specific guidelines on when to get tested.
If you do test positive for COVID-19, stay home, self-isolate, monitor symptoms, and drink plenty of fluids. Your healthcare provider may recommend an over-the-counter medication for fever.
Severe cases of COVID-19 require hospitalization. Hospital care may include breathing support, such as a ventilator or other treatments.
If someone is showing emergency signs such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, or an inability to wake or stay awake, call 911 immediately or go straight to the ER.
If you think you have a flu or COVID-19 infection, our compassionate medical team can helpBook a Visit