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Cold, Flu, or COVID-19?

In previous years, you may have not given a cough or a runny nose a second thought. But with COVID-19 cases still on the rise, you’re likely paying close attention to how you feel.  Several viral illnesses share many of the same symptoms, so it is helpful to know how they stack up against each other. Check out the differences between the symptoms and treatments.

COVID-19, Cold, and Flu symptoms chart.

Coronavirus or COVID-19

COVID-19 is a brand-new strain of the Coronavirus family that has affected many worldwide. Most Coronavirus strains usually cause mild symptoms and can be as typical as a common cold. However, strains like COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms in those that are immunocompromised or elderly. 

Symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Body aches (sometimes)
  • Fatigue (sometimes)
  • Sore throat (sometimes)
  • Loss of taste or smell (sometimes)

There is currently no cure for COVID-19, but a vaccine is now becoming available. All First Care clinic locations offer two types of COVID-19 testing: the rapid Antigen test and the Antibody test. 

Influenza (Flu)

Influenza can cause mild to severe symptoms and typically comes on quickly. The flu is a common respiratory infection that can last around 5-7 days.

Symptoms of the flu:

  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sore throat (sometimes)
  • Runny nose (sometimes
  • Diarrhea or vomiting (common in children)

The best prevention against the flu is getting the annual flu vaccine. If you have received the flu shot and still get the flu, symptoms are generally milder and disappear quicker than if you did not receive the flu shot. 


While having a cold can still feel awful, symptoms are generally milder than the flu. Colds last on average 7-10 days, with the peak at 2-3 days. 

Symptoms of a cold:

  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Cough (mild)
  • Fatigue
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Headaches (rare)

First Care Clinics offers prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for many illnesses. Our clinics are offer flu shot vaccines, as well as testing for the flu and testing for COVID-19. Our team of healthcare heroes can diagnose and treat you for a common cold, flu, and COVID-19. If you’re experiencing any symptoms, find your nearest First Care urgent care location information here.