Flu vs. Cold vs. COVID-19

There’s a lot of overlap between symptoms of the flu, colds and COVID-19, even though they are caused by different viruses.

All three can range from mild to severe with symptoms that vary from person-to-person. Symptoms can be different for different age groups too.

The only way to know if you have COVID-19 is to get tested.

SYMPTOM
FLU
COVID-19
COLD
Body achesCommonSometimesSometimes
CoughCommonCommonCommon
DiarrheaSometimesUncommonRare
FatigueCommonCommonSometimes
FeverCommonCommonRare
HeadachesCommonSometimesRare
Loss of taste or smellRareSometimesRare
Shortness of breathNeverCommonRare
SneezingUncommonRareCommon
Sore throatSometimesSometimesCommon
Nausea/vomiting (more common in children)SometimesUncommonRare
Runny/stuffy noseSometimesRareCommon
Itchy/watery eyesNeverRareNever

For a detailed breakdown of the frequency of symptoms, consult COVID-19 signs, symptoms and severity of disease: A clinician guide by Health Canada.

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