COVID-19 or Influenza? Diagnoses Might Require Testing to Distinguish

                                With the 20-21 (Flu) season rapidly approaching, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months and older be vaccinated with few exceptions. September and October are considered good months to be vaccinated, with the recommended target for completion by the end of October. 


Although the Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, they are caused by two distinct viruses. COVID-19, which tends to spread easier than Influenza, often causes more severe illnesses. Older adults with compromised immunity or complications with heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes are especially at risk for developing severe complications from COVID-19. 


People infected with COVID-19 have reported various levels of illness, from mild symptoms to severe life-threatening infections. Some of the most common symptoms associated with COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea, and diarrhea. Symptoms from a COVID-19 infection typically appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. 


Placing Flu and COVID-19 symptoms side by side reveals a nearly identical list of symptoms with only a few exceptions, like the loss of taste and smell that is more closely associated with COVID-19. Because COVID-19 and Flu symptoms are so close, it is difficult to tell the difference, and testing may be required to confirm either diagnosis. 


Flu shots and COVID-19 testing are available at all Main Street Physician clinics and through our in-home providers with South Carolina & Georgia House Calls.  


SC House Calls is a network of nearly 250 medical professionals providing In-home medical house calls and Telehealth visits to Private Residences, Assisted Living Communities, and Skilled Nursing Facilities. SC House Calls serves all 46 Counties of South Carolina. New patient registration, appointments, and  
24-7 access to medical professionals is available through its Center for Telehealth @ 800-491-0909