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a sick man holding his forehead and a thermometerYou woke up with a sore throat and runny nose and reached for an over-the-counter medication rather than a cup of coffee. Now you’re back in bed and wondering if you have a common cold, flu, or COVID-19. Two key symptoms that can rule out a common cold are fever and body aches. However, these are just two of the many symptoms that flu and COVID-19 share. So, how can you spot the difference?

Comparing Symptoms of Flu & COVID-19

Other symptoms that the two viruses share are coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea. These similarities make it difficult to differentiate between the two viral infections. However, the timing of the onset of symptoms is a key indicator—flu symptoms become apparent earlier, often one to four days after infection, while COVID-19 symptoms don’t become noticeable until about five days after infection. Furthermore, COVID-19 symptoms last longer than those of the flu, prolonging the effects of the virus. Another differentiator is the loss of taste and smell that is commonly reported by COVID-19 patients.

How Flu & COVID-19 Are Spread

Both viruses are spread by small particles that are released from the mouth and nose when talking, singing, coughing, and sneezing. However, even though they share so many similarities, flu and COVID-19 are two distinctly different viruses, which makes it possible to contract both at the same time. So, if you’re asking yourself, “Is it flu, or do I have COVID-19, or both,” there’s only one sure way to find out: Get tested.

COVID-19 Testing

Rapid antigen tests and viral PCR tests use a nasal sample to test for an active infection of COVID-19. Whether the result is positive or negative, COVID-19 testing is the vital first step on the road to recovery. One of the benefits of being tested at our clinic is you will receive the advice of a medical professional on what to do with your positive, or negative covid-19 test.

Saddleback Family & Urgent Care offers COVID-19 testing services at our location in Mission Viejo, California. Schedule a same-day reservation today.