The beginning of winter is often considered to be the most wonderful time of the year. However, while there are plenty of reasons to enjoy this cold season – sledding in the snow, endless cups of hot cocoa, and plenty of chances to build a snowman in the backyard – there is something associated with winter that no one looks forward to – getting sick. 

Yes, winter may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the time of year where you’re far more likely to get a cold or the flu. On top of that, there is still the looming threat of the COVID-19 virus. 

If you happen to get sick this season, how can you be sure what your diagnosis truly is? How can you be sure that your symptoms are indeed just a seasonal cold or flu instead of something more serious, such as COVID-19?

While you should always see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis if you are unwell, here are a few ways to determine whether you have the flu or the COVID-19 virus:

Having The Flu

Medical News Today explains that flu symptoms appear 1-4 days after initial exposure. Common symptoms (which appear abruptly) include a mild to moderate cough, occasional fatigue, runny nose and nasal congestion, body aches, headache, loss of appetite, and fever. The CDC states that people who get the flu will recover on their own in a few days to two weeks.  

Having COVID-19

According to Medical News Today, the symptoms for COVID-19 appear 1-14 days after initial exposure. Common symptoms (which appear gradually) include cough, shortness of breath, fever, fatigue, and respiratory issues. While having a cough is also associated with having the flu, according to Health Partners, the flu usually causes a mild dry cough. In contrast, a cough associated with COVID-19 is dry and persistent and leaves you out of breath. COVID-19 symptoms that don’t typically overlap or are less common with the flu include repeated shaking with chills and the new and sudden loss of taste or smell. 

When it comes to making sure you are as healthy as possible this winter from both COVID-19 and the flu, trust your friendly and knowledgeable team at Immediate Care. We understand that being sick is an unexpected inconvenience (not to mention, you just don’t feel like yourself). Our urgent care centers combine the much-needed convenience of a walk-in medical office with the delivery of compassionate and quality medical care to get you as good as new as soon as possible. 

For more information on how we can take care of you when you are sick and at your most vulnerable, visit our website to explore our services or schedule your appointment today. Like us on Facebook for tips on how you can stay healthy this season.