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Not Sure You Have COVID-19? Here Are the Symptoms for Coronavirus, Flu, and Allergies

Experts note that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the flu, and allergies have different symptoms. The main symptoms of the novel coronavirus are fever, tiredness, dry cough, and shortness of breath.

The CDC recommends that all people should wear cloth face masks in public places where it’s difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. This will help slow the spread of the virus from people without symptoms or people who do not know they have contracted the virus. Cloth face masks should be worn while continuing to practice social distancing. Instructions for wearing masks can be found here

If you have a runny nose or itchy eyes, it doesn’t mean you have the novel coronavirus. However, if you have a dry cough, fatigue, and a fever, you might have COVID-19. Then again, it could also be seasonal flu.

There are many symptoms of cold, flu, and COVID that are similar, and it may be difficult to distinguish. They’re all caused by viruses, but different viruses cause each of these infections.

However, one key difference between the three is a symptom of coronavirus is shortness of breath. Shortness of breath is a common sign of COVID-19 which occurs prior to the development of pneumonia. With COVID-19, shortness of breath often occurs 5 to 10 days after the first sign of fever.

Generally, the flu or a cold does not cause shortness of breath unless it has progressed to pneumonia, in which case you’ll also want to contact your healthcare provider.

Sneezing isn’t a symptom

Sneezing, runny nose, facial pain, postnasal drip, and itchy eyes are common symptoms of allergies or the common cold. But they’re not typical of COVID-19.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). “Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea.”

COVID-19 symptoms usually appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. However, “Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell,” according to the WHO. These people can still transmit the virus to those around them, even if they don’t feel ill.

Allergies have chronic symptoms

COVID-19, like the flu or common cold, is an acute illness, meaning people feel fine until symptoms start showing up.

Allergies, on the other hand, are usually chronic, presenting with symptoms off and on for weeks, months, or even years. Experts also noted that, in most parts of the country, it’s not allergy season yet.

Allergies also may cause wheezing, especially in people with asthma. Allergy symptoms tend to vary with the environment: worsening with exposure to dust, pollen, or animal dander, whereas cold symptoms tend to persist regardless of time of day, weather, locality, or other environmental factors.

Also, as with COVID-19, colds are more likely to have generalized symptoms like fever, headache, and body aches, whereas allergies usually affect only the respiratory tract. Allergy symptoms tend to improve with antihistamine and other allergy-specific medication. Colds are more likely to respond to decongestants, acetaminophen, fluids, and rest.

covid-19 symptoms flu common cold allergies

Despite symptoms, it’s not the flu

COVID-19 is not the flu. As one of a class of pathogens known as coronaviruses, it’s actually more closely related to the common cold than the seasonal flu.

However, despite some overlap, the typical symptoms of COVID-19 are more similar to the flu (fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue) than the common cold (runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, congestion, slight body aches, mild headache, sneezing, low-grade fever, malaise).

If you have a mild case of COVID-19, the flu, or a cold, treatment is geared toward management of symptoms.

Cases can be life threatening

Mild cases of COVID-19 are thought to last approximately 2 weeks. Almost nobody dies of the common cold. And most seasonal allergies are more annoying than dangerous.

COVID-19 has the potential to cause even more fatalities because it’s easily transmitted, the population lacks any immunity to the disease, and complications in serious cases may include life threatening pneumonia.

If you’re feeling sick or you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should self-quarantine for at least 2 weeks to prevent further spread of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Severe symptoms of COVID-19 that require immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face, the latter indicating a shortage of oxygen in the bloodstream, according to the CDC.

Around one out of every six people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing,” the WHO said. “Older people and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.”

Do you have symptoms of COVID-19? Your options for care

Call your primary care provider and discuss symptoms before visiting a healthcare facility, or book online video doctors visit/telehealth consultations through mobile app Medihome or call healthline 19009204 in Vietnam.

Medihome is one of the best-known telehealth providers that allows patients to receive medical advice and instructions at home by providing them with a platform to connect with real doctors.

Users can make health-related inquiries, look up medications, and search for the nearest clinics and pharmacies at the comfort of their own home.

For patients who prefer to see their doctor in person, Dr.Binh Tele_Clinic is always open and continue to welcome patients for their appointments. The health care organization is closely monitoring COVID-19 and is following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization, MOH of Vietnam in the care of patients.

Source: Healthline

Coronavirus: Are diabetics more prone to COVID-19?

The CDC has determined that COVID-19 is a serious public health threat—and older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions, including diabetes, are at a higher risk of experiencing complications and getting very sick from it.

People with diabetes do face a higher chance of experiencing serious complications from COVID-19.

In general, people with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with a virus. If diabetes is well-managed, the risk of getting severely sick from COVID-19 is about the same as the general population.

When people with diabetes do not manage their diabetes well and experience fluctuating blood sugars, they are generally at risk for a number of diabetes-related complications. Having heart disease or other complications in addition to diabetes could worsen the chance of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, like other viral infections, because your body’s ability to fight off an infection is compromised.

Viral infections can also increase inflammation, or internal swelling, in people with diabetes. This is also caused by above-target blood sugars, and both could contribute to more severe complications.

When sick with a viral infection, people with diabetes do face an increased risk of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), commonly experienced by people with type 1 diabetes. DKA can make it challenging to manage your fluid intake and electrolyte levels—which is important in managing sepsis. Sepsis and septic shock are some of the more serious complications that some people with COVID-19 have experienced.

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COVID-19 is different from the seasonal flu.

COVID-19 is proving to be a more serious illness than seasonal flu in everyone, including people with diabetes. All of the standard precautions to avoid infection that have been widely reported are even more important when dealing with this virus.

Recommended safety precautions are the same as for flu, such as frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow. The CDC does not recommend the use of face masks by people who are not infected.

We encourage people with diabetes to follow the guidance of the CDC and to review how you manage sick days—preparing for a sick day can make it easier.

The risks are similar for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes

In general, we don’t know of any reason to think COVID-19 will pose a difference in risk between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. More important is that people with either type of diabetes vary in their age, complications and how well they have been managing their diabetes

People who already have diabetes-related health problems are likely to have worse outcomes if they contract COVID-19 than people with diabetes who are otherwise healthy, whichever type of diabetes they have.

What should people with diabetes do if they have the virus?

It is recommended that people with diabetes plan ahead of time what to do before they get ill. This includes having the contact information of their health care provider at hand and making sure to have an adequate stock of medications and supplies for monitoring blood glucose at home, so that they do not need to leave the house if they become ill. Peope with diabetes who are infected with the virus may see their glycaemic control deteriorate during the illness. They should practice the “Sick day rules” recommended for any stressful situation to improve their diabetes decompensation. They should also contact their health care provider immediately for advice on how to monitor their blood glucose, get adequate refills for medications (especially insulin) and what adjustments they may need to do in their medication or diet.

Sick day rules for people with diabetes

  • Keep hydrated
  • Monitor your blood glucose
  • Monitor your temperature
  • If you are on insulin, also monitor your ketone bodies
  • Follow your healthcare team recommendations

How can the virus be avoided?

Simple, sensible measures should be taken in every-day life in order to avoid infection from the virus:

  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based solution, especially before eating and after being in public.
  • Don’t share food, tools, glasses and towels.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are ill. If someone is visibly ill, coughing or sneezing, keep away.
  • If you get ill with respiratory symptoms, stay at home and notify others and your health care provider of the illness.
  • When sneezing or coughing, cover the nose and mouth with a tissue or with the crook of the elbow. Throw the tissue in the bin.
  • Avoid unprotected contact with wildlife and farm animals.

The World Health Organization recommends that people without respiratory symptoms do not need to wear a medical mask in the community, even if COVID-19 is prevalent in the area. Wearing a mask does not decrease the importance of other general measures to prevent infection, and it may result in unnecessary cost and supply problems.

Source: ADA, IDF