Coronavirus, Flu, Common Cold, or Something Else

Since the discovery of the coronavirus disease also known as COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, it has spread across the globe.

The more worrisome factor includes the early on-set of symptoms include colds and flu which are technically present year-round, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, this year, in addition to being worried about influenza and other respiratory viruses, people are also worried about COVID-19.

Coronavirus or Common cold - No more confusion

Given the fact that early symptoms pose some similarities, the coronavirus also have some pretty key differences. Here's what you need to know to identify the coronavirus from the common cold. Before that, there is another thing that you might want to know, there are certain common colds that are actually a type of coronavirus.

But, common human coronaviruses are not to be confused with the novel coronavirus, currently circulating and causing severe illnesses and deaths on a massive scale across the globe. However, what we are dealing with this year is a new or novel coronavirus as mutated in some way and became more deadly.

Comparing coronavirus symptoms to common cold symptoms

COVID-19 and the common cold share a lot of the same respiratory symptoms. The cold symptoms usually peak within two to three days and often include the following:

  • Sneezing

  • Sore throat

  • Coughing

  • Post-nasal drip

  • Watery eyes

In rare cases, cold symptoms, such as runny nose, stuffy nose, and cough have the tendency to last for up to 10 to 14 days, they will usually improve during that time. Unfortunately, coronavirus symptoms go from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. It is quite evident that you already know the people are dying because of this virus all over the world.

Symptoms of the coronavirus or COVID-19 typically appear two to 14 days after exposure. They can be:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

Severity of coronavirus compared to the common cold

Colds don't lead to any serious health issues such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, hospitalizations, or deaths. This is indeed very different from the flu. The severity of the coronavirus isn't quite so cut-and-dry, although it is significantly more severe than the common cold.

A more recent report in a well known journal presented a less grim calculation. Among Wuhan, China, patients with symptoms, researchers estimated that the overall risk of dying was 1.5% - 2%.

Treatment and prevention for coronavirus and the common cold

Honestly, they really don't. There's no cure for a cold. Moreover, the cure for this is according to the CDC , and the same goes for COVID-19. But, it is known that researchers worldwide are currently working on finding a treatment and possible vaccine for the new coronavirus.

With hat said, if you develop a fever and other symptoms related to the coronavirus, it's wise to call your doctor or emergency medical helpline to determine the next steps.

The coronavirus or COVID-19 and the common cold have nearly identical prevention methods. The same includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; not touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; staying home when you are sick; and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC, WHO, and their local public health department as resources.

Final Words

The key difference between the three is a symptom of coronavirus is shortness of breath and it is a common sign of COVID-19 which occurs prior to the development of pneumonia. Generally, the flu or a cold does not cause shortness of breath unless it has progressed to pneumonia, in which case you’ll also want to contact your healthcare provider.

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