How can you differentiate Flu and Common Cold from Coronavirus

As the number of coronavirus cases rise, some key differences set coronavirus apart from the seasonal flu and common cold, mainly the intensity of the symptoms and recovery period.

All three, however, are spread by air-borne respiratory droplets and contaminated surfaces.

Coronavirus

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Dry Cough
  • Muscle ache
  • Fatigue

Less common symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Coughing up blood (Haemoptysis)
  • Diarrhea

Incubation period

An incubation period is the time between when you contract a virus and when your symptoms start.

Currently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, the incubation period for the novel coronavirus is somewhere between 2 to 14 days after exposure.

Seasonal Flu

Seasonal influenza, often called ‘the flu’, is an infectious disease of the respiratory tract caused by an influenza virus and spread efficiently from person to person. Outbreaks of seasonal flu follow largely predictable seasonal patterns and occur annually .

Sympoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Muscle ache
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Less Common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Incubation period

Incubation period for seasonal flu is 1 to 14 days.

Common Cold

The common cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). It’s usually harmless, although it might not feel that way. Many types of viruses can cause a common cold.

Symptoms

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

Less Common symptoms include:

  • Low grade fever
  • Muscle or body ache
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Incubation Period

Incubation period for common cold is 2 to 3 days

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