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How you can differentiate coronavirus from common cold

A flow chart created using information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Health breaks down the symptoms which are most common when suffering from the coronavirus, the flu, a cold or allergies to help identify which you may have.

By answering yes or no to whether or not you have a fever, you can rule out the coronavirus, which it list as one of its main symptoms.

Like other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold and that triggered SARS, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.

  • The most common symptoms are:
  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue

Although having a runny nose doesn’t rule out coronavirus, it doesn’t thus far appear to be a primary symptom.

Most people only become mildly ill, but the infection can turn serious and even deadly, especially for those who are older or have underlying health conditions.

In these cases, patients develop pneumonia, which can cause:

  • Potentially with yellow, green or bloody mucus
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid or shallow breathing
  • Pain when breathing, especially when breathing deeply or coughing
  • Low appetite, energy and fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting (more common in children)
  • Confusion (more common in elderly people)
  • Some patients have also reported diarrhea and kidney failure has occassionally been a complication.

Avoid people with these symtpoms. If you develop them, call your health care provider before going to the hospital or doctor, so they and you can prepare to minimize possivle exposure if they suspect you have coronavirus.

If you do have a fever, the flow chart than asks if you have shortness of breath. If yes, you may have the coronavirus, if not, you may have the flu.

Other symptoms of the virus are listed as a cough, fatigue, weakness and exhaustion.

These are also the symptoms of the flu, leaving medical professionals urging those who fear they may have the coronavirus to seek an expert opinion.

Patients who contract the virus are said to experience mild to severe respiratory illness and symptoms can take anywhere between two and 14 days after exposure to appear.

Symptoms may also vary from person to person meaning that only a doctor can give you a correct diagnosis.

Those who believe they are showing these symptoms are recommended to seek medical advice.


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