Health Tips

Coronavirus, allergies or flu? Here’s the difference between COVID-19 and other illnesses

Yahoo News March 21st 2020
Nicole Villalpando and Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY Network

It’s allergy season and we haven’t exactly cleared flu season yet, but that hasn’t stopped the new coronavirus from spreading throughout the nation and creating a new normal for Americans who are now stuck at home.  

Symptoms of the coronavirus include a fever, dry cough and shortness of breath, but those symptoms closely resemble other illnesses, as well. So, how do you know if you have coronavirus or something else?

Dr. Maria Granzotti, chief medical officer at Ascension Texas, breaks down the differences between allergies, cold, strep, flu and COVID-19 to put your mind more at ease before going to the doctor. 


  • Runny nose

  • Sneezing

  • Red, swollen eyes

  • Itchy eyes

  • Itchy nose

  • Tickle in the throat

  • Rarely a fever


  • Runny nose

  • Sneezing

  • Sore throat

  • Aches and pains

  • Mild dry cough

  • Rarely a fever


  • Sore throat

  • Painful swallowing

  • Fever


  • Fever is common

  • Dry cough

  • Quick onset

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Fatigue

  • Sometimes a runny nose

  • Sometimes diarrhea

New coronavirus, COVID-19

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fever (above 100 degrees)

  • Dry cough

  • Gradual onset (two to 14 days after onset)

  • Sometimes headache

  • Sometimes aches and pains

  • Mild sneezing

  • Sometimes fatigue, but it’s not predominate like the flu

  • Diarrhea is rare

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus, allergies, cold, flu or strep? These are the differences


The World Health Organization (WHO) & CDC has reported that the novel coronavirus (2019-NCOV) (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID-19) has caused an outbreak of disease. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has spread across six of seven continents and has affected all population centers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO have published coronavirus protection guidelines for healthcare professionals & first responders working in infection control and prevention. These guidelines suggest eye protection (goggles or face shield), gloves, a medical mask and a fluid resistant gown. Protection from airborne particulate calls for using a respirator with N95, FFP2 or equivalent rating. Basic hygiene, such as washing your hands with soap, and using regular alcohol based hand sanitizer is also recommended.

The CDC is currently monitoring the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation. We recommend visiting for the latest updates from the CDC and the United States Government.

On March 13, 2020 – President Donald J Trump of the United States declared a National Emergency due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Wuhan Coronavirus) (Wuhan Flu) (COVID-19) (2019-NCOV) (SARS-CoV-2)
On March 11, 2020 – the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to be a Global Pandemic

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is similar to other respiratory illnesses in how it spreads. It commonly spreads person-to-person. If you are in close contact with someone who is a carrier of COVID-19, you are at risk of infection. COVID-19 can spread via respiratory droplets that are created when an infected person sneezes or coughs. The coronavirus disease, like the flu and SARS can be spread via contact from an infected surface or object. A healthy individual can contract a respiratory illness, including COVID-19, by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. That is why it is so important when out in public to wash your hands, and not touch your eyes after touching a public surface.

Please note: The market has seen unprecedented demand for safety and health products related to Coronavirus Protection. As a result, 3M has placed all their Masks on global allocation. Thank you for your patience while we work through this tremendous surge in order volume. To inquire about a new order, visit

“I can say we will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now,” Dr. Anthony Fauci
As we continue to go through this unprecedented time, the most important thing we can do is use proper hygiene, and listen to our medical professionals, as well as government officials like Dr. Fauci, and our current political leaders at both the state and federal level.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in a state that has no case or one case: you have to start taking seriously what you can do now to prepare for when the infections come — and they will come.” Dr. Anthony Fauci

See these helpful videos about How To Choose a Mask and How To Wear a Mask


Handwashing & The Coronavirus

Save lives by washing your hands. The CDC says, washing your hands with soap and water, as the most effective way to stop the spread of coronavirus. To effectively wash your hands to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the CDC says you must follow these five steps. (Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry). Following these five steps properly, will insure your hands are thoroughly washed and clean. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you are not sure how long 20 second is, the CDC recommends that you Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. if soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.