Do I Have COVID or the Flu?

November 17, 2021

COVID or the Flu: What do I have?

Similar but different, both viruses can be mistaken, at times, for one another. Going into the winter season, experts are weighing in that we can expect a severe flu season this winter together with a spike in COVID-19 cases. 

With many similar symptoms, how can one tell the difference between COVID-19 and the flu?

Spoiler alert: Testing is the best way to know for certain whether you have influenza or COVID-19.

COVID or the Flu: Breaking Down the Basics

Both COVID-19 and the flu are contagious respiratory diseases caused by a virus - the coronavirus and the influenza virus.

Among unvaccinated people, COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than the flu.

COVID-19 can lead to a more serious illness in some people compared to the flu.

Symptoms of COVID-19 take longer to appear; while with the flu a person usually shows symptoms 1 to 4 days after infection, with COVID-19 it typically takes 5 days from infection to symptoms.

COVID or the Flu: Making Sense of The Symptoms 

COVID and influenza share many of the symptoms. Here is the list of common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu may share, according to the CDC:

If you experience one or more of the symptoms above, you may have contracted either the coronavirus or the influenza virus.

Covid or the Flu: Reaching a Verdict

With such similarities, there may be confusion when we experience one or more of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 and the flu. It’s possible you may be infected with one of the viruses, but how can we know for sure which one?

According to the CDC: Because some of the symptoms of flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory illnesses are similar, the difference between them cannot be made based on symptoms alone. 

Testing is needed to tell what the illness is and to confirm a diagnosis.

Testing is not just the only way to verify or rule out COVID-19 or flu infection, it’s also a highly accessible, highly effective tool to protect yourself, your family and your community. We are at the point in the pandemic where we now share the responsibility of protection from the virus; with testing we can both protect ourselves and protect those around us. 

With our rapid shipping options, On/Go can be a great way to test yourself when you have symptoms or may have been exposed to either COVID or the flu. Take care of yourselves or those around you and know your COVID status in just 10 minutes with On/Go, available now.

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