Is It COVID-19 or the Flu?

Every year, in the colder winter months, people around the United States deal with the seasonal rise in influenza cases that we know as “flu season.” Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, many parts of daily life have changed — but, this winter and spring, cold and flu season is back again as well.

Our team of infectious disease specialists at GatherWell in Ham Lake, Minnesota can provide diagnostic testing and care support no matter what type of germ or illness you’re dealing with, including the flu and COVID-19. 

Here are some useful facts to help you determine whether you could have the flu or COVID-19.

Differences between COVID-19 and flu symptoms

COVID-19 and the flu share many symptoms. Both COVID-19 and the flu can present with fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, headache, and body aches. Vomiting and diarrhea are more common symptoms of these illnesses in children than adults.

You might notice changes in your senses of smell and taste if you have COVID-19 (not a common symptom of the flu). It’s also more common to suffer from a runny or stuffy nose, or have difficulty breathing or experience shortness of breath, if you have COVID-19 than if you have the flu.

Additionally, you might notice a difference in the type and severity of coughing. COVID-19 causes severe, persistent coughing, and coughs are typically dry. Coughing associated with the flu is also typically dry, but less severe and intense.

If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, it could take you longer to develop symptoms than if you had the flu. And, if you’ve had COVID-19, you could stay contagious for more days than if you’d recovered from the flu.

Expert diagnosis for COVID-19

For some people, COVID-19 seems to cause more serious illnesses than the flu, and COVID-19 can result in unique complications including blood clots in your heart, lungs, legs, or brain. You need a test to be completely sure if you do or don’t have COVID-19, as you may have an asymptomatic case but still be contagious.

If you suspect you could have COVID-19, you’ll need to find out if you’ve actually caught this novel coronavirus. At GatherWell, we have a trusted track record of identifying infectious diseases. We offer COVID-19 testing and diagnosis from offices in Ham Lake, Edina, and Otsego, Minnesota.

For expert diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases like influenza and the coronavirus, you can turn to our team at GatherWell. Locally owned, we provide same-day laboratory services, including diagnostic tests for COVID-19. 

Options available to you include antigen testing with results available in minutes. From our Ham Lake location only, we also offer PCR testing, with results available in just 24-48 hours. We can additionally test for antibodies, to see if you did have the COVID-19 virus previously.

To learn more, contact us online or call today.

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