COVID-19 vs Other Upper Respiratory Viruses
Dr. Sarah Tindall

These days pandemic associated ennui seems to be rampant, which is understandable but unfortunate given the current omicron variant surge. Even though everyone is tired of it, now it is more important than ever to wear an adequate mask (N 95 or KN 95), physically distance, continue good hand hygiene, and take steps to ensure overall health is robust.

I find these days many patients are asking about flu and colds in addition to COVID-19 and feel confused about how to distinguish these since there are many overlapping symptoms. Although not universal, here are some important distinguishing features:

Cold: This is considered to be a mild viral illness. Symptoms like runny nose, congestion, cough,
sneezing, sore throat are common but other symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever, generalized aches, and loss of taste/smell are rare.

Flu: It can be more difficult to distinguish flu symptoms from COVID-19 since the flu is typically more severe than colds. Common flu symptoms include things like fever, headache, generalized aches, cough, but it is rare to experience loss of smell or taste with the flu. Sometimes severe exhaustion can occur, but not always.

COVID-19: Most of us have become highly acquainted with common COVID-19 symptoms, especially some of the more frightening ones such as difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and cough (a dry cough as opposed to a productive one). However, the Omicron variant, which we are dealing with now, has symptoms that can easily be mistaken for a cold or flu.

The current advice, is to suspect COVID-10, get tested and act as if you do have COVID until you know you do not. It is important to know if you are symptomatic the recommendation would be to stay home for 5 days and get a COVID-19 test to make sure symptoms are not due to COVID-19. Wearing a mask and avoiding others can help stop the spread of COVID-19. Please check the CDC website for clarity of actions and guidelines if you are symptomatic and test positive, if you are vaccinated or not, if you are asymptomatic but test positive.

There is scientific evidence showing that certain lifestyle factors and select supplementation can help boost immune function. If you are looking to make health and wellness changes in 2022, consider scheduling an appointment with one of our naturopathic physicians to help ensure optimal health.

We also now have a post covid recovery program for general health restoration and for those suffering from post covid-syndrome/long haul syndrome. Check our website for more information.

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