Differentiate between Cold, Allergies, Flu and COVID-19

There are many symptoms related to flu, colds, allergies, and novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Sometimes, it might be difficult to find out the kind of disease you are suffering. So how will you know if you are having allergies, common cold, flu, or COVID-19?

The major difference that lies here is shortness of breath, which is somewhat related to COVID-19. The cold or flu does not cause shortness of breath till it progresses ahead to pneumonia. Other symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough and fever. On April 27, 2020, the CDC has expanded the list of COVID-19 symptoms with chills, muscle pain, headache, repeated shaking with chills, sore throat, and loss of smell or taste. You can also find the nearest private GP and contact them to know more about the difference between Cold, Allergies, Flu, and COVID-19.

How to lessen the risk of illness

  • Wear a face mask when going out in public places
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Use only alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose unless you clean your hands.
  • Do not touch doorknobs or shake hands.
  • Clean house and work often surfaces by using a disinfectant
  • Cough into a tissue and then throw the tissues in a dustbin. If you do not have tissues, use your shirt’s elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay away from the people who are suffering from cold or flu.
  • Stay informed about COVID-19 in your area. Follow local instructions ad know about the events in your community that might be cancelled or postponed. You are advised not to attend public gatherings and stay away nearly 6 feet from others by maintaining “social distancing.”
  • Check your home supplies and keep at least a 2-week supply of food, medicines, and other household items.

How you can prevent the common cold

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Avoid touching your nose or eyes especially when you are around sick people
  • Clean surfaces by using disinfectants that can kill viruses to avoid spreading the common cold

How you can stay away from flu

  • Get a flu shot soon once it is available in the year. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is suggested that infants who are above 6 months and all children and adults should be vaccinated every year.
  • Wash hands before eating, and do not put hands in your face or mouth. Wash for at least 20 seconds and use soap while doing so.
  • If someone in your family suffers from flu, keep the surfaces clean from the virus by wiping with a cleaning solution that consists of chlorine, detergents, hydrogen peroxide, alcohols, or iodophors. Flu viruses can be killed at a heat above 167 F.
  • Increase the humidity in your house or office as the flu bug remains in higher quantities in oral passages and dry nasal. By raising the humidity, your body can flush out the flu bug in a better way and keep your health bug free.

What about allergies

  • Control the environment with air conditioning during the pollen season.
  • Stay away from areas where there are mites, moulds, and heavy dust,
  • Keep away from pets if you have a problem with them

Hay fever

Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, can cause cold-like symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, congestion, itchy nose, and sinus pressure. Unlike the common cold, hay fever does not occur due to a virus. Hay fever happens when your body is allergic to dust that is being carried in the air. When dust particles encounter the eyes, throat, or mouth, this may cause irritation to the body, thus, setting off a reaction. This reaction is your body overreacting to what is considered an attack.

Symptoms of hay fever

  • Nasal congestion and runny nose
  • Red, itchy or watery eyes also called allergic conjunctivitis
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, the roof of throat or mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Postnasal drip
  • Blue-coloured or swollen skin under the eyes or allergic shiners

How to treat hay fever

It is suggested to you, restrict exposure to things that might trigger hay fever. If hay fever isn’t very severe, you may take over-the-counter medications to relieve the symptoms. If you are suffering from hay fever and it is not very critical, you may take doctor’s recommended medicines to relieve the symptoms. Many people can get the best kind of relief with the combination of allergy medicines. An experienced doctor or a Private GP can suggest you on this and provide remedies for hay fever are the following:

  • Nasal corticosteroids, also called nasal sprays – These nasal sprays can prevent as well as treat nasal itching, runny nose, and nasal inflammation caused due to hay fever. They are considered to be the most useful medications for hay fever and also prescribe as the first type of medicine in the case of many people. For most people, there is a belief that nasal corticosteroids act as safe and long term treatment. Side effects might include nose irritation and foul smell or taste. Nose irritation and foul odor or taste might be the side effects. Side effects with nose steroids are rare.
  • Eye drops – These can ease the symptoms of hay fever by inhibiting the release of the substance, histamine. These are most useful when you start using this before developing the symptoms and have a low risk of side-effects.
  • Antihistamines –These are preparations, usually provided in the form of tablets. There are some eye drops and nasal sprays of antihistamine that help with sneezing, runny nose, and itching but have fewer effects on congestion. They act by blocking a symptom that can cause chemical that is being released by the immune system at the time of allergic reaction or histamine.
  • Oral corticosteroids –These pills, like prednisone, are sometimes used to cure severe symptoms of allergy. Due to the continuous use of corticosteroids, this can lead to dangerous side effects like osteoporosis, cataracts, and weakness of muscle being prescribed for a short time.

Hopefully, this post will provide you with some insight into common symptoms of hay fever and probable overlap of symptoms with Covid-19. You may fix an appointment for same-day private GP services in London and get treated on time.

Shirley: Shirley is a fashion blogger who loves to be updated with the latest fashion and writing about it. She also loves to travel and explore the world. Currently working as a writer at The Fashion Updates.