Cold, Flu or Coronavirus/Covid 19 – Which Might I Have?

Updated April 27, 2020

According to WHO and CDC, Coronavirus/Covid 19 shares many symptoms with the common cold and seasonal flu. According to the CDC, it now appears that Coronavirus/Covid 19 sufferers often have some combination of symptoms that do not usually appear with cold or flue: Extreme Tiredness, Shortness of Breath Muscle Pain and New loss of smell and/or taste.

It is important to remember that:

  • Symptoms may show up between 2 and 14 days after infection, and
  • People who are carrying Coronavirus/Covid 19 may pass it to others before they know they are infected.

However, it is still important to remember that the vast majority of people who develop Covid 19 will experience mild cases and recover completely without going to the hospital or other medical facility. 

22 Comments on “Cold, Flu or Coronavirus/Covid 19 – Which Might I Have?

Awakhiwe Ntuli
April 28, 2020 at 7:45 am

Thank you

March 31, 2020 at 4:09 am

Since i have been coughing and its a dry cough and i have been trying to drink warm water but still i do not see the difference now i am asking you guys what must i do ?

Amy Stokes
April 2, 2020 at 4:45 pm

Hi Zizipho,
If you do not have other symptoms, then you are handling the situation in the best way possible. If you can get a little honey or lemon to put in your warm water, it might sooth your cough also.

March 31, 2020 at 3:58 am

This information it was helpful as I was not aware of other symptoms

March 31, 2020 at 3:53 am

Please make steps more clearly and understandable!

March 31, 2020 at 3:51 am

Good day please can you send all this information via email for those who don’t have phones

March 31, 2020 at 3:44 am

Can a self test for corona virus be put on site?

Amy Stokes
April 2, 2020 at 4:47 pm

Hi Nomusa,
There are no self-tests available yet. You still need to have contact with a medical professional to be diagnosed – both in South Africa and the United States.

Bernard Makhanya
March 30, 2020 at 7:12 am

I now know what are the signs of the COVID-19 are if I may be infected

Puleng Makhanya
March 30, 2020 at 6:52 am

Thank you Thato. Stay safe too dear.

March 30, 2020 at 5:55 am

I would like to thank the person /people who were so thoughtful to warn us about the symptoms .I AM REALLY THANKFUL .

Luyanda Makhaye
March 30, 2020 at 5:52 am

you know with us knowing all this information on covid-19, I really hope this might help us stay safe during this period. You know we as people of south Africa can actually encourage one another to stay safe and focus on mostly what symptoms we get after we go out to a shop or a mall but especially a clinic.

March 27, 2020 at 6:36 am

I don’t understand the table. Cross lines mean what?

Amy Stokes
March 27, 2020 at 3:26 pm

Hi Awakhiwe, Good question about the colors in the table. The green lines are the to highlight which symptoms are common with the cold or flu but NOT common with Covid 19. The orange lines are to highlight symptoms common with common with Covid 19 but NOT the cold and flu. I hope this helps.

March 27, 2020 at 6:10 am

Hi, is there a difference between sore throat and dry throat?
If there is a difference , is dry throat one of the symptoms ?

Amy Stokes
March 27, 2020 at 3:22 pm

Hi Katlego,
A dry throat has not been widely mentioned as a symptom of Covid 19. Sore throat, however, is a symptom of Covid 19, seasonal flu and the common cold. A sore throat can be caused by several things including a viral infection but also simply because your nose is draining into your throat. The nose draining kind of sore throat is what happens during a cold. It can also happen with regular allergies, but doesn’t mean someone is sick.

So, a sore throat alone does not automatically mean someone has Covid 19. Having a sore throat with the other symptoms like a high fever is a stronger signal that someone has Covid 19. However, unless allergies are known, a sore throat probably does mean that someone has something and should be very careful about washing their hands often, not touching things that other people touch, and trying not to breath or cough on anyone. No matter why someone has a sore throat, you don’t want to share it with anyone else and make them feel bad anyway.

Here are some tips both for not sharing or picking up someone else’s germs:
-Open doors with your shirt, jacket or other material over your hand.
-Turn on the tap with your elbow, not your hand.
-Turn on and off switches with your fist, not your fingers.

Stay safe and stay strong!

Aphiwe M
March 27, 2020 at 4:24 am

This is very helpful because I didn’t know all the symptoms of the virus.

Amy Stokes
March 26, 2020 at 10:32 am

Thank you Thato, you too! And please stay in touch with Infinite Family staff in South Africa until you can get back to your VCs. Be safe and be strong.

March 26, 2020 at 9:45 am

So if I have a dry cough only should I be warried?

Amy Stokes
March 26, 2020 at 10:31 am

It can be very hard not to be worried about everything in times like these. But, if you only have a dry cough without the other symptoms, it is unlikely that you have Coronavirus. I also have a cough and runny nose this time of year due to seasonal allergies because it is Springtime in the United States.

However, if you get a combination of high fever and chills, extreme tiredness and shortness of breath, then you should self-isolate and let In the adults around you and Infinite Family staff know.

March 26, 2020 at 9:26 am

Please be safe during this corona holidays

Zoleka Maphalala
March 27, 2020 at 4:50 am

Thank you Thato. You can reach out to us during the lockdown period.

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