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COVID-19 and Flu


​What is the difference between COVID-19 and Influenza (Flu)?

COVID-19 and Influenza (Flu) are both contagious respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

Both COVID-19 and flu symptoms can range from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. 

Symptoms

FLU

COVID-19

Fever or feeling feverish/chills

frequent

frequent

Cough

frequent

frequent

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

not often

frequent

Fatigue (tiredness)

frequent

frequent

Sore throat

frequent

not often

Runny or stuffy nose

sometimes

not often

Muscle pain or body aches

frequent

frequent

Headache

sometimes

sometimes

Vomiting and diarrhea

rare*

sometimes

Loss of taste or smell

not described

sometimes


*More common in children than adults

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