Covid or cold?How to tell the difference between symptoms

In the pre-pandemic era, you snuffed headache, You do it Common cold If you feel the edges are a little rough, continue as usual. But during the cold and flu season, how can you be sure that it’s a cold, not a Covid?

The bottom line – you can’t. The typical symptoms of a cold are headache, sore throat, and runny nose, but these symptoms are now COVID that too.

However, the common cold is caused by a different strain of virus than Covid-19. Most coronaviruses, such as the common cold, cause mild infections of the upper respiratory tract and cause relatively mild symptoms such as stuffy nose, headache, and sore throat.

People infected with Covid suffer from respiratory symptoms that can cause coughing, shortness of breath, shortness of breath, and fever. Infections can also cause pneumonia, kidney failure, and, in the most severe case, death.

In most people, common cold symptoms usually peak within the first 2-3 days of infection, but the effects of Covid appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Christina Marriott, Chief Executive Officer Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) states: “People who have been vaccinated twice usually have less serious symptoms such as headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and loss of smell.

“It is important for fully vaccinated people to be aware of cold-like symptoms and to test whether they live or work around people at high risk of illness.”

Professor Irene Petersen, Professor of Epidemiology and Health Informatics University of London (UCL) adds: “A runny nose and headache are symptoms of many infections, but they are the first and possibly the only symptoms of Covid. Therefore, if you have these symptoms, you have a few days of immunochromatography (LFT). It is recommended to use.

“The first few LFT tests may be negative, but if you are using Covid, the test can be positive within a few days, and others around you will be on Covid. If you know you’re infected, you’re much more likely to have a runny nose or headache. “

The main Covid symptoms imposed on us by the government are high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of smell and taste, or changes, but the Delta variant, the dominant Covid strain in the UK, is the main symptom. Instead of, or likewise, various symptoms.

The UK Government-funded ZoeCovid Symptom Study ( identifies the main symptoms associated with Covid and states that it varies slightly depending on whether or not you are vaccinated.


Headache is a lesser-known symptom of Covid, but according to ZOE studies, it is one of the earliest signs and is more common than the typical symptoms of cough, fever, and loss of smell. Studies show that Covid’s headaches tend to be moderate to severe, sometimes “pulsing,” “pushing,” and “stabbing,” occurring on both sides of the head rather than in one area, for more than 3 days. It may continue. Resistant to regular painkillers.

I have a runny nose

Last winter, a ZOE study found that runny nose was the second most common symptom after headache, and about 60% of people who tested Covid positive with loss of smell also reported runny nose. I did.

But now the data show that the prevalence of the disease is the most important factor. Therefore, if the infection rate of Covid is high, it is also more likely that the runny nose is caused by Covid. However, this study emphasizes that if the Covid rate is low, the runny nose is unlikely to be a Covid and is likely due to a cold or allergy. It is difficult to call it a definitive symptom, especially during the winter, as it is so common.


A ZOE study emphasizes that sneezing is much more likely to be a sign of a cold or allergy, but sneezing more than usual can be a sign of Covid in a vaccinated person. There is sex. Many people with Covid may sneeze, but it says, “Sneezing is so common that this is not a definitive symptom.”

sore throat

Many people using Covid report in the ZOE Study app that they have a sore throat that resembles a sore throat when they have a cold or laryngitis. Covid-related sore throats tend to be mild and last within 5 days, and very painful sore throats that last for a long time can be another problem. If that persists, you will need to contact your GP. It can be a symptom of Covid, but most people with a sore throat will probably catch a cold. According to ZOE data, almost half of people infected with Covid-19 report sore throat, which is more common in adults aged 18-65 than in older people and those under 18 years of age. It’s common.

Loss of smell

Loss of smell remains the strongest indicator of Covid-19 infection, regardless of age, gender, or severity of the disease. People with Covid may not lose their sense of smell altogether, but it can change, so they can’t smell strong scents and can affect their taste sensation. there is.

Persistent cough

Persistent cough is widely accepted as one of the three major symptoms of Covid-19, but according to a ZOE study, only 4 out of 10 people infected with the virus have this. To experience. In this context, “persistent” means coughing “more than half a day”, many times a day. A Covid cough is usually a dry cough compared to a chest cough that causes sputum and mucus and may indicate a bacterial infection. Persistent cough tends to arrive about a few days after the illness and usually lasts about 4-5 days.

Taking the test is very important

With a single vaccination, ZOE studies found that the main symptoms were similar to those of people with double jabs, but coughing was also common. The symptoms of unvaccinated people were similar, with fever and cough. If you have symptoms, you should self-quarantine at home and have a PCR Covid test as soon as possible.

Alex Richter, a professor of clinical immunology at the University of Birmingham and a member of the team that developed the test to detect Covid antibodies in people with mild symptoms, said: -19 Clinically. Only the PCR test can distinguish the two because they are so similar. Lateral flow is useful for screening, but if someone has symptoms, you should take a PCR swab test. “

Alan McNally, a professor of microbial evolution genomics at the University of Birmingham and leader of infectious diseases at the Milton Keynes Lighthouse Lab, the UK’s first flagship Covid testing facility, adds: I’m at home to prevent infection and get tested. Attempting self-diagnosis is a surefire way to boost Covid’s case rate again. “

Covid or cold?How to tell the difference between symptoms

Source link Covid or cold?How to tell the difference between symptoms

Related Articles

Back to top button