If you’re feeling under the weather, you may be wondering how to
tell if you have coronavirus, the flu or seasonal allergies. Any symptom
you have may be unnerving at this time, and while we don’t recommend
self-diagnosing, the list of symptoms below may give you a better idea
of what’s to blame for how you’re feeling.
If you’re concerned about any symptoms you’re experiencing,
please check in with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations
on what to do next.
The most common symptoms of the novel coronavirus are listed below and
typically appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus:
- Shortness of breath
About 80% of people infected with COVID-19 will experience only mild symptoms,
but there is a small percentage of people that develop more severe symptoms.
This can result in the need for hospitalization.
Symptoms of coronavirus that require immediate medical attention include:
- Difficulty breathing or extreme shortness of breath
- Pain and/or pressure in the chest
- Severe lethargy or the inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Keep in mind that you’re at a greater risk of developing severe symptoms
if you are older than 60, have a compromised immune system or have underlying
health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or asthma.
Symptoms of the flu often come on suddenly and may include:
Fever Chills Cough Fatigue Body aches Headache Runny or stuffy nose Sore
throat Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people
who get the flu experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover in a
few days to two weeks. However, some at-risk people, such as older adults,
young children and people with chronic health conditions, develop more
serious complications, like pneumonia.
This is prime time for seasonal allergies to flare up, as the weather starts
to warm and trees begin to bud. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Red, swollen or itchy eyes
- Runny and/or stuffy nose
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
What to Do If You Think You Have Coronavirus
If you think you may have coronavirus, here’s what to do:
Call your primary care physician. You’ll need to explain your symptoms so your doctor can tell you
whether it’s necessary to come in for care or get tested for COVID-19
or the flu.
Avoid your local emergency room. The emergency department is likely dealing with a larger volume of patients
and needs to prioritize those who need critical care. Your doctor or the
local health department can tell you where to go for testing.
If you develop severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Let them know that you may have coronavirus so that first responders can
protect themselves while caring for you.
Copyright 2020 ©
Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of
Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark
of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information
contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc.
is strictly prohibited.
Date Last Reviewed: March 16, 2020
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc.
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD
ADA compliance and sponsorship policy.
No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article is a
substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition.
Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information
in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or
viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article signifies your understanding