How do you tell if you have the Coronavirus, cold or the flu?
It is very difficult to tell the difference between the coronavirus, cold and the flu clinically as the symptoms of all three infections can be quite similar.
Some of the symptoms include:
- Respiratory symptoms e.g. (cough, sore throat, nasal obstruction/discharge and breathlessness)
- Body aches
- Loss of appetite
As symptoms can range from mild to severe, do not try to diagnose yourself. If you are unwell, please seek medical attention immediately.
As of now, in Singapore, the Ministry of Health has defined what the criterion for a suspect case is, and primary care doctors are using these criteria to send patients to hospital for further management. If you have symptoms described above, and have been to mainland China in the past 14 days, or had frequent or close contact with recent travellers from mainland China, please seek medical attention and your doctor can decide if you should be sent for further testing.
There have been cases of nCoV with barely any/mild symptoms. Because of this, it is unwise to generalize and say definitively that the nCoV will have this symptoms and the common cold will not. However, the common cold is much less likely to result in death as compared to nCoV. Influenza, on the other hand, can result in death from complications as well.
Also read: FAQS ON THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (2019-NCOV)
What are the common symptoms of the Coronavirus and how long before one will start showing symptoms of the Coronavirus?
Common symptoms noted for 2019-nCoV infection include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other common symptoms noted in coronavirus infections include runny nose, sore throat, headache and malaise. Some less typical symptoms can include diarrhoea, nausea, chest pain, and vomiting. The median duration for the incubation period is about 3 days. The incubation period can range from as little as 2 days to as long as 24 days in rare cases.
Please speak to your doctor if you are feeling unwell.