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By NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health
How many times since the emergence of COVID-19 have you come down with symptoms and wondered if it’s a cold, the flu or COVID-19?
It’s likely crossed everyone’s mind at some point in the last few years. And it’s a good question, as the symptoms of each virus are very similar.
There are some variations, however, that can help determine what type of infection it is.
“To rule out COVID-19, it’s best to take a test,” said Jeremy Carter, MD, a family medicine physician with NorthShore Medical Group. “The symptoms are very similar and the only way to know for sure is by testing.”
What are the symptoms of each virus?
If you look closely, you’ll see some distinguishing characteristics.
Influenza (flu) symptoms
The flu, COVID-19 and colds are all contagious respiratory viruses that can spread through coughing and sneezing.
“Each of these viruses can be especially dangerous for infants, older adults and immunocompromised people, so prevention is important,” Dr. Carter said.
With holidays gatherings and colder weather keeping us inside, take these precautions:
Did you get your flu shot? Don't wait! Flu shots are available through your primary care physician's office and at our Immediate Care Centers.
Need a doctor? With hundreds of board-certified physicians to choose from, you’re likely to find the perfect doctor for you close by. Find a doctor at NorthShore University HealthSystem.