Coughs and sneezes are common in cold and allergy seasons, but the coronavirus pandemic has caused new concerns about these historically "small" symptoms. Here's how symptoms of colds, allergies and the COVID-19 coronavirus typically compare.
Symptoms Of COVID-19 Coronavirus
Signs and symptoms of illness from the COVID-19 coronavirus can range from mild to severe respiratory illness. These symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Early symptoms of exposure to the coronavirus are similar to that of the flu. These signs include:
- Body aches
- Sore throats
- Nausea or vomiting
- Runny nose
According to the CDC, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough.
Common cold symptoms gradually occur and may include:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Scratchy, tickly throat
- Mild cough
- Watering eyes
- Low-grade fever
- Sore throat
- Achy muscles and bones
- Mild fatigue
- Watery discharge from nose that thickens and turns yellow or green
The symptoms of a cold usually last less than 14 days.
Many flu signgs overlap with symptoms of the common cold. However, there are some key differences, such as:
- The flu comes on all at once while a cold gets gradually worse.
- You're not likely to have a fever with a cold, but you are with the flu (although not always). You might also experience chills.
- You'll have more intense muscle and body aches with the flu.
- Typically, colds don't cause headaches, but the flu does.
- You'll feel noticeably fatigued and weak if you have the flu.
You also may experience a cough, sore throat, or a runny or stuffy nose. Vomiting and diarrhea are possible sigsn of the flu, too, although this is more common in children than adults.
Signs Of Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies (hay fever) are caused by the immune system reacting to pollen from trees, grasses and weeds as if they were harmful to the body. This reaction causes symptoms that can be similar to a cold. Seasonal allergies occur at the same time each year. If your child has allergy symptoms all year long, he or she may be allergic to things in the home, such as dust mites, animals, mold and cockroaches.
Allergies can cause itchy, watery eyes, which aren't typical signs of a cold or flu.
Other common symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
- Stuffy nose
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose, throat, eyes, and ears
- Clear drainage from the nose
Usually, allergy symptoms last as long as you're exposed to the trigger.
Be COVID-19 Aware
Franciscan Health has developed a free online assessment for patients who are experiencing symptoms, or think they may have been exposed to COVID-19. This non-diagnostic questionnaire will determine your eligibility for a telephonic consultation with a qualified nurse. A nurse will then guide you with your next steps to the care you need.
Our telephonic Nurse Consultation service is limited to those in the communities we serve, including:
- Greater Indianapolis area
- Greater Lafayette area
- Northwest Indiana
- South Suburban Chicago
TAKE THE COVID-19 ONLINE ASSESSMENT