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COVID update: Are your symptoms caused by a cold or coronavirus? Signs of infection

Coronavirus is an infectious disease that has been confirmed in more than 30 million people across the world. You could be at risk of the deadly infection if you develop any number of symptoms that may be easily confused for a common cold.

The UK has seen a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases over the past few weeks.

Almost 10 million people across the country have been put into local lockdowns, in a bid to stop the rising spread of the infection.

If you think that you may have coronavirus symptoms, you should get tested straight away, and self-isolate at home.

But, how can you tell whether your symptoms are caused by the virus, or by a common cold?

The most common symptoms of coronavirus are a high fever, and a new, continuous cough.

Some patients may also develop a change to their sense of smell or taste.

These symptoms may also be caused by the flu, however. There are a few key differences to look out for.

The flu or a cold may also cause sneezing or a blocked nose. Some patients may also find that they develop a persistently runny nose.


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“Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses,” said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

“Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms [of COVID-19].

“Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.”

Both coronavirus and flu could cause headaches, muscle pains or sore throats.

But, you should only apply for a COVID test if you develop a fever, a cough, or a loss of sense of smell or taste.

Most people with coronavirus will develop at least one of these symptoms.

So, while you may have a headache, which could be caused by coronavirus, you don’t need to get a test.

Anybody that feels hot to the touch on their chest or back could be showing early coronavirus symptoms.

Similarly, anyone that’s been coughing more than usual for longer than a one-hour period, or if they’ve had at least three coughing episodes every 24 hours, should self-isolate.

Some patients have also reported a sore throat, headaches, and even hiccups, on top of the more common signs.

More than 46,000 people have died from coronavirus in the UK.

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  • Posted on September 17, 2020