How Do You Tell if You Have Covid-19, a Cold or the Flu?

King's Pharmacy

How Do You Tell if You Have Covid-19, a Cold or the Flu?

cold vs flu in Birmingham

Both COVID-19 and influenza are contagious respiratory diseases, although they are brought on by distinct viruses. When the weather drops colder, it can be hard to know which seasonal illness you’re suffering from. Keep reading to find out more about recognising seasonal illnesses, including a cold vs the flu in Birmingham.

Cold vs the flu and Covid-19

In some people, COVID-19 can result in a more serious disease than the flu. People with COVID-19 infection may take longer than those with the flu to manifest symptoms and may remain contagious for long periods of time.

Because they share similar signs and symptoms, it is impossible to distinguish between the flu and COVID-19. To determine the ailment and to formally establish a diagnosis, specific testing is required.

Early COVID-19 and flu treatment can lessen the severity of your sickness. People who have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time may experience more severe illness than those who only have the flu or COVID-19. Additionally, certain COVID-19 patients may experience post-COVID problems (also referred to as long COVID).

cold vs flu in Birmingham

Symptoms of coronavirus

Those who have COVID-19 have reported experiencing a wide range of symptoms, from minor discomfort to serious sickness. Symptoms may start to show 2 to 14 days after virus contact. Anyone can experience minor to major symptoms.

Possible symptoms include:

– Fever or chills
– Headache
– Cough
– Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
– Fatigue
– Muscle or body aches
– Nausea or vomiting
– Loss of taste or smell
– Sore throat
– Congestion or runny nose
– Diarrhoea

Flu Symptoms

Flu can sometimes result in death and cause mild to serious disease. Symptoms of the flu typically appear suddenly. Many flu patients have any or all of the following symptoms:

– Fever
– Cough
– Headaches
Sore throat
– Fatigue (tiredness)
– Runny or stuffy nose
– Muscle or body aches
– Vomiting and diarrhoea


COVID-19 and the flu can both have a wide range of signs, from no symptoms to severe symptoms. The following are typical flu and COVID-19 signs and symptoms:

– Fever or feeling feverish
– Cough
– Headache
– Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
– Fatigue (tiredness)
– Vomiting
– Sore throat
– Runny or stuffy nose
– Muscle pain or body aches
– Diarrhoea (more common in children with the flu, but can happen in any age with COVID-19)
– Change in or loss of smell or taste, even though this is more common with COVID-19

cold vs flu in Birmingham

Cold vs the flu – how to know which is which

It can be challenging to distinguish between colds vs the flu based just on symptoms because they share many of them. However, the flu is generally more severe. Flu also appears within a few hours, whereas colds appear more gradually. Additionally, the flu makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to go about your day as normal.

Can you have the flu and Covid at the same time?

Both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines are available. If both are needed at the same time, you can acquire them both in one visit. By taking a few simple precautions, you can lower your chance of contracting the viruses that transmit COVID-19, the flu, and other respiratory diseases.

Book your appointment with King’s Pharmacy to get your flu vaccination. You can also book online to get your Covid vaccination.

Get Covid Vaccine


This blog post was written on behalf of King’s Pharmacy by Pharmacy Mentor.



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