Is it the Flu, COVID-19, Allergies or a Cold?


If you start feeling sick, you may be quick to think you may have COVID-19, but the flu, allergies and colds haven’t gone away.

While COVID-19, the flu and the common cold are all caused by viruses. There are some differences in the symptoms of each. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptom checks are:

COVID-19 Flu Common Cold Allergies
Cough Usually (dry) Usually Usually Sometimes
Muscle Aches Usually Usually Sometimes Never
Tiredness Usually Usuall Sometimes Sometimes
Sore Throat Usually Usually Usually Rarely
Runny or stuffy nose Usually Usually Usually Usually
Fever Usually Usually ─ not always Sometimes Never
Nausea or vomiting Sometimes Sometimes (more common in children) Never Never
Diarrhea Sometimes Sometimes (more common children) Never Never
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing Usually Usually Sometimes Sometimes
New loss of taste or smell Usually (early ─ often without a runny or stuffy nose) Rarely Sometimes (especially with a stuffy nose) Sometimes
Itchy nose, eyes, mouth or inner ear Never Rarely Rarely Usually
Sneezing Rarely Rarely Usually Usually
Pink Eye Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes


If you get sick and suspect you have COVID-19, you should contact your health care professional right away. When you are ill, you should take time to rest and let your body heal. Make sure you stay hydrated and treat yourself with over-the-counter products as recommended by your doctor. Avoid over-exertion, caffeine, alcohol and smoking.

If you find yourself in a serious health crisis or a life-threatening emergency, call 911.