Should You Call the Doctor? Compare COVID Symptoms to Those of These Common Illnesses

COVID-19 is sweeping the nation, urging many of us to be on high alert when it comes to symptoms of illness. Marked by shortness of breath, cough, and fever, coronavirus is distinct, yet boasts certain symptoms that also mimic other illnesses. Here are a few things to look for when evaluating if that cough or sneeze is COVID-related.


You’ve got an itchy throat, watery eyes, and a sneeze that won’t quit – all classic symptoms of a seasonal allergy attack. But, what about the cough that accompanies these symptoms? Look for a dry cough accompanied by fever if you’re concerned about coronavirus. For most patients, productive coughs aren’t linked to the respiratory illness, but dry, hacking coughs are. And, you should know that allergies never cause a fever, so if you have a fever for any reason, call your doctor.

Common Cold

Though the common cold is classified as a minor illness, it sure can make your life more difficult while you’re waiting to feel better. Yet, how crummy do you have to feel before you convince yourself it’s not a cold, but coronavirus? Pay attention to the severity and duration of your symptoms. A cold won’t usually make it impossible to get out of bed, but the coronavirus might. Cold symptoms also tend to peak 2 to 3 days into your illness, and hardly ever result in a fever. If you’ve been feeling under the weather for several days, with little or no relief over time, you might consider speaking with your doctor to sort out your symptoms.

Look for Strange Symptoms

Coronavirus, though known for its dry cough and fever, has also been known to exhibit weird symptoms in affected adults. Many patients report a near-total loss of smell and taste with COVID-19. Others experience gastrointestinal distress – think vomiting, severe nausea, and bad stomach aches – before being diagnosed. If you’re experiencing any weird or worrying symptoms, set up an appointment with your physician.

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