Coronavirus vs. Flu vs. Cold: Everything You Need to Know

Amid the global COVID-19 outbreak — 1,689,096 active infected patients and 177,641 deaths worldwide — even a nose drip, little cough or throat tickle is a suspect.

By now, we all are very well aware that this novel coronavirus has no preventive vaccine and cure so far. Although, only 25% of those infected with this virus experience symptoms, for some coronavirus symptoms can be actually life-threatening.

Since its spring, there are so many people out there with their springtime tree pollen allergies. Common cold is also pervasive all round year. Plus, the influenza season is coming to an end.

Now, you wonder: am I infected with coronavirus?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help you out by clearly distinguishing these illnesses in medical terms and what care you need to take.

 Do I have Coronavirus?


At the start of this pandemic in January 2020, one’s travel history was a crucial clue that suggests whether the patient is at risk of being infected with this virus and needs to undergo the COVID-19 test.

However, in the last week of April, things have changed drastically as the outbreak of COVID-19 is at its peak or at least somewhere around, travel history is no longer pertinent, as this virus has spread in our communities.

Most common symptoms with coronavirus infection:

  • Dry cough
  • High Fever
  • Tiredness

Some people may also experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Body Aches and pains
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion

Generally, these symptoms may appear within seven days of the coronavirus infection (or may not appear at all), but sometimes take up to two weeks.

Experiencing any of these symptoms? Don’t get panic; keep in mind that many people with COVID-19 have recovered.
Speak to your general physician, or if the symptoms are severe, check with the state health department to find out whether you should be tested.

Get more information about what to do if you are sick from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website.

How do I ascertain that I have coronavirus?

The testing criteria for COVID-19 is evolving as the WHO in the last few months has listed several new tests. Today, we have the rapid antibiotic tests, Elisa kits, genesis Real-Time PCR Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Cobas SARS-CoV-2 Qualitative assay.

 Do I have spring allergies?

spring allergies

We are in the spring, and we all love the magnificent surprises of nature as the warm weather is rejuvenating.

However, it also means allergy season for some people. As the trees are budding, the pollen counts are soaring, and people with allergy experience below-mentioned prevalent symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Running or stuffy nose
  • Swollen sinuses
  • cough
  • Scratchy throat
  • Itching in the throat, ears, mouth, and nose
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Watery Eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Some people may experience:

  • Anosmia
  • Facial pain
  • Sinus headache
  • Earache

How Do I Ascertain that I have a pollen allergy?

Skin allergy test is generally recommended by the doctor to determine whether you have a pollen allergy or not.However, during the COVID-19 lockdown, it will not be feasible to visit an allergy clinic, instead opt for online consultation and explain what sort of symptoms you are experiencing.

Based on the severity of your condition, they may advise steroid nasal spray or antihistamines to get relief with your symptoms.

Do I have a common cold?

common cold

First things first, yes, during this pandemic, you may feel miserable when having a common cold, but in most likelihood,  your cold symptoms are not a case of coronavirus infection.

Common symptoms of the common cold:

  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Watery eyes
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat

How do I ascertain that I have a common cold?

No testing is required to diagnose the common cold; it can be identified by merely assessing the symptoms.

Ask your local physician to prescribe you over-the-counter medications to moderate the effects of a common cold. A typical cold lasts — on average — three to seven days. The infection does not cause most symptoms, instead, it’s your immune system’s response to it.

Final thoughts

Still, concerned about your symptoms? Then, check the below chart by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology explaining the differences.

comparison table

Plus, it’s wise to consult your local doctor for all your queries.

Stay home, stay safe!