Common Flu vs. COVID-19: Differences in the Manifesting Symptoms – What to Know

covid-19 coronavirus

The new coronavirus, named COVID-19, has taken the whole world by storm, threatening the lives of many people from around the world. According to experts, those who are infected with the new coronavirus commonly display flu-like symptoms. It takes a 14-day incubation period before the virus fully manifests, and the host starts to suffer the symptoms. 

The virus will cause serious respiratory problems that will make it harder for individuals to breathe. According to experts, individuals who have pre-existing conditions or are of old age are most likely to succumb to this previously unknown pathogen. 

Some of the COVID-19 deaths were of people who initially experienced high fever, cough, and sore throat altogether. However, as of the latest available data, not all patients manifested clinical fever. When the virus enters the respiratory system, it then manifests into pneumonia, which causes a severe acute respiratory syndrome, as well as kidney failure, mottling, and in worst cases, death. 

With this virus now being reported as a pandemic, how can you tell if you’re down with simple flu or with the new COVID-19? Below are four determining characteristics you should be aware of to differentiate between the two:

Common flu will cause fever, chills, and fatigue

The average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re coming down with a fever, your body temperature will be anywhere higher than those normal digits. Some people have 104 degrees of fever. Chills and fatigue will most likely manifest as a result of a fever. 

Common flu will cause body aches and headache

The virus invades your tissue and muscle, causing inflammation. This is what causes the pain that you commonly experience. The high temperature, as well as you’re unwillingness to drink plenty of fluids, also contributes to this pain.

Common flu can cause cough and sore throat

Flu is extra difficult for people with underlying diseases, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and COPD, among others. Coughing and sore throat are common symptoms of flu, but when you have the mentioned diseases, you’re more likely going to develop bacteria in your lungs that may require antibiotics.

Common flu will cause a runny nose

Breathing in virus particles will usually cause you to you sneeze. If you don’t, it will enter your body, and as your body responds, it will try to excrete it out. If the virus successfully enters the central airways, it may cause complications that will make you sick. With COVID-19, however, symptoms of the runny nose are less likely or less frequent.


All flu, even the COVID-19, requires resting before you can be certain of your condition. With the common flu, your body will naturally expel it out if you don’t develop complications. Keep yourself hydrated and keep away from healthy people so you won’t spread the virus. 

On the other hand, if you’re suffering from chest pains, confusion, severe diarrhea, and other known symptoms of COVID-19, contact your primary healthcare doctor immediately. There is no vaccine yet for the new coronavirus, and because of its novelty, it still has grey areas, including the duration of the recovery period. Both flu and the new coronavirus, however, require a straightforward prevention method, which is an observance of proper hygiene at all times. 

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