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The Seasonal Flu, Common Cold, or COVID-19?

Identifying These Different Respiratory Illnesses

With flu season in full swing, we may find ourselves taking extra precautions to stay healthy this winter as we continue to navigate the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. The first step toward protecting you and your loved ones' health is by knowing the difference between each of these respiratory illnesses and how you can prevent them.

The Seasonal Flu

According to the CDC, the flu is a mild to severe respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. While the symptoms can vary in their severity, some of the most common symptoms of the seasonal flu include:

  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever or feeling feverish
  • Headaches
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting

The CDC states that getting vaccinated each year is the best way to prevent getting sick with the seasonal flu. You can get your flu shot at one of our convenient locations – give us a call!


According to the CDC, COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that is brought on by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although it is possible to range anywhere from being asymptomatic to having severe symptoms, here are some of the most common signs that you may have COVID:

  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose

Because COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets and saliva, it is recommended that you follow these precautions to help prevent the spread of the virus:

  • Wear a cloth face covering while in public spaces.
  • Keep at least 6ft from others,
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Disinfect commonly used surfaces and objects often.
  • Stay home if you display any symptoms of COVID-19.

Find a Family Health Center Near You

From vaccinations to aches and pains to routine physicals, Methodist Family Health Centers and Medical Groups are here to help. Our primary care doctors offer personalized health care services for every stage of life and every state of health.

To find your local Methodist Health System, visit our website.