COVID-19 has been surging around the world. This surge also coincides with colder weather and people spending more time indoors as well as flu season. It can be the perfect storm for lots of people getting sick at the same time. COVID-19, the flu and the common cold share a lot of the same symptoms. How can you tell the difference?
CORONAVIRUS or COVID-19
The virus that causes COVID-19 is caused by a newly discovered virus called the coronavirus. There is currently no known cure for it. The only way to know whether you have COVID-19 is with a test.
- The most common symptom of COVID-19 is a high fever- a temperature of 37.8C (100F) and higher
- A dry and persistent cough
- A sudden loss of taste or smell with no related congestion
- Shortness of breath
The flu is caused by the influenza viruses, usually influenza A or B and it affects the nose, throat and lungs. The most common symptoms are:
- Dry cough
- Bodily aches and pains
The common cold is caused by a virus. The most common one being the rhinovirus. Common symptoms include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
The #1 thing you can do to reduce your chance of getting the flu is getting the flu shot. The CDC claims that the flu vaccine reduces the odds of getting the flu by about 60%. In people who live in a nursing home or care facility, the flu vaccine is 50% to 60% effective in preventing hospitalization and 80% effective in preventing death from a flu complication
Hand washing is a simple regimen that is frequently overlooked, but it’s your second most effective weapon to prevent yourself from getting sick .
Keep your environment clean and that also includes your air. Running an air purifier that contains both a good HEPA filter and a germicidal UV lamp will remove a lot of airborne viruses and bacteria as well as other irritants.