The Difference between COVID-19 and Flu Symptoms

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Flu season is here and COVID-19 is in the air. It's important to know how these viruses are similar and how they differ.

According to the CDC, both Flu and COVID-19 can have these symptoms in common:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Tiredness

  • Sore throat

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Muscle pain or body aches

  • Headache

  • Vomiting and diarrhea, (more common with children)

COVID-19 has an additional symptom that is different from flu which may include change in loss or taste of smell.

Other key differences the CDC notes are:

  • People with Flu normally develop symptoms 1 to 4 days after infection.

  • People with COVID-19 typically develop symptoms 5 days after being infected. However, symptoms can appear as early as 2 days or as late as 14 days after infection.

For more information about key differences between COVID-19 and Flu please visit:,of%20breath%20or%20difficulty%20breathing

You can also check out this graphic from the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department about Flu and COVID.

FluandCOVID (1)
Download PDF • 998KB

Let's Talk: Learn anything new about the differences between Flu and Covid? Got any questions? Let us know in the comment section!


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