Is it a Cold, Flu, Allergies or COVID-19?


COVID-19 cases are on the rise, so you may be second-guessing yourself any time you’re feeling a little under the weather. It's important that you contact your primary care provider immediately if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.


However, COVID-19, allergies, the common cold, and flu share many symptoms — so how are you supposed to know whether you have COVID-19 or something else? Here’s what you should know about their symptoms, causes and how they’re spread.


Allergies

In Louisiana, seasonal allergies can be a year-round battle. Allergy symptoms can be mild to severe and are caused by your body’s immune system overreacting to stimulants in the environment — such as pollen, mold spores, dust or pet dander. Allergies are not contagious and over-the-counter medications can usually relieve your symptoms.


Common Symptoms

  • Stuffy or runny nose

  • Post-nasal drip (which can sometimes cause a mild sore throat)

  • Itchy or watery eyes

  • Sneezing

  • Itchy nose or ears

  • Mild fatigue



The Common Cold

The common cold is a viral infection of the nose and throat that develops after contact with a cold-causing virus. This can be spread through the air or through personal contact. The average timeline of recovery for a common cold is 7 to 10 days and you will typically not need to seek medical attention, as it is relatively harmless. However, see your primary care provider if your symptoms do not improve.


Common Symptoms

  • Cough

  • Congestion

  • Stuffy or runny nose

  • Sneezing

  • Sore throat

  • Body aches and/or headache

  • Low-grade fever

  • Mild fatigue



Flu (Influenza)

Flu — or influenza — is a respiratory illness caused by a viral infection. It spreads through respiratory droplets and is very contagious. Because it is spread through respiratory droplets, flu can be spread while talking or through physical contact.


The two types of flu that cause seasonal epidemics in the USA are influenza A and influenza B.


Common Symptoms

  • Headache and body aches

  • Cold sweats & chills

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Stuffy or runny nose

  • Fatigue

  • Vomiting & diarrhea (more common in children than adults)



COVID-19

COVID-19 is a viral illness that can spread by sneezing, coughing or physical contact. COVID-19 symptoms usually begin 2 to 14 days after initial exposure and typically subside approximately 14 days after the onset.


It is still possible to get COVID-19 if you have been vaccinated. If you are vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19, your symptoms are expected to be milder.


Common COVID -19 Symptoms

  • Dry cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fever

  • Intense fatigue, body aches

  • Loss of smell

  • Headache

  • Runny nose

  • Fatigue

  • Sore throat

  • Sneezing



Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, a common cold, flu or allergies — we’re here to help. We offer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, or we can see you for a sick visit if you’re feeling under the weather. Schedule your appointment with Cypress Health + Wellness today!


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