With winter around the corner so the dreaded cold and flu become a reality again. With the added influence of COVID-19, a person suffering from congestion, body aches and a runny nose could be worried these symptoms may warn of the deadly virus. Dr Ravi Tomar, GP at Portland Medical spoke exclusively with Express.co.uk to provide insight on how to know the difference between a cold, flu or COVID-19.
When asked how one can differentiate between a col, flu, COVID-19 or a respiratory infection, Dr Tomar said: "The challenge with these upper respiratory infections is that all present with symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, aches and pain.
"However, the predominating symptoms can help to differentiate these.
"With a common cold most of the symptoms remain in the upper airway due to mucus such as a wet cough, blocked nose, sneezing.
"With the Flu – the whole body is affected with the added headaches, body pain, and fatigue.
"Covid-19 has a unique presentation with fever, dry cough, and the loss in sense of taste and/or smell.
"If your local pharmacist is unsure which of the three it is, you can use an online digital symptom assessment tool such as Doctorlink to help with this."
Dr Tomar offered his advice on how colds, flu and COVID-19 can be properly managed.
He advised: "The management for these three conditions is largely the same as they are all viral infections.
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"Initially self-isolate, use over the counter medications from the local pharmacy to help with the symptoms, rest and hydration are key.
"Importantly you need to monitor your symptoms and if becoming worse or not starting to improve as you would expect you may need to seek further advice.
"Your local pharmacist will be able to further guide you with management, or if using the Doctorlink, this too will give you information on how to self-care for these conditions."
With a common cold most of the symptoms remain in the upper airway due to mucus such as a wet cough, blocked nose, sneezing.
With the Flu – the whole body is affected with the added headaches, body pain, and fatigue.
Covid-19 has a unique presentation with fever, dry cough, and the loss in sense of taste and/or smell.
Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
It added: "COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.
"Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis."