How to Tell the Difference Between COVID-19 and the Flu

Dec 21, 2020 | COVID-19, Featured, Healthy Living

Wondering if that cough, sore throat, or fever could be COVID-19 or the flu? Get a quick overview of both viruses and what to do if you’re feeling sick.

Because the novel coronavirus shares a number of similarities with influenza, it can be tricky to determine whether your symptoms are stemming from one of these viruses or something else altogether. While testing is the only way to get a true diagnosis, you can get an idea of what you’re dealing with by taking a look at our quick comparison guide here. Then learn what to do if you have symptoms – including when and how to seek care.

Can you have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

According to the CDC, yes, it is possible to be infected with both the flu and COVID-19, as well as other respiratory illnesses, at the same time, as symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. If you are symptomatic, you can visit our Horsetooth Urgent Care or Windsor Urgent Care or schedule a Virtual Visit. Every person tested for the novel coronavirus is also tested for influenza because of the similarities these viruses share.

What should I do if I have COVID-19 or flu symptoms?

  1. Stay home except to seek medical care
    Prevent the spread of whatever illness you may have by staying home and limiting your contact with other people. This is especially important if you have a fever.
  2. See a provider virtually
    AFM has expanded our Virtual Visits offering to all clinics to help you get the care you need, while also reducing the transmission of illnesses like COVID-19 and the flu. You can see a primary care or urgent care provider Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call (970) 495-6234 if you are experiencing symptoms. Our staff will help you set up a Virtual Visit if appropriate and even help you determine whether you should get tested for COVID-19 and the flu.
  3. Rest, relax, and hydrate
    Whether you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, the flu, or simply aren’t feeling well, it’s important to get the rest you need in order to recover. Take it easy and be sure to stay hydrated. You can also call one of our primary care locations or see your provider virtually to get recommendations on over-the-counter medications that could alleviate any fever, aches, or pains.
  4. Get your annual flu shot
    Protect yourself and others from the flu by getting your flu shot. According to the CDC, people who get the flu vaccine are about half as likely to get sick than those who are not vaccinated. AFM offers flu shots at all of our primary and urgent care locations. Call one of our primary care locations for a same-day flu shot – free with most insurances. Or walk in to one of our urgent care clinics today.
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