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All 4 can look very similar, making it hard to tell the difference. Use the chart below to help you decide when to seek care for your or your child’s symptoms.

Download our symptom-checker pdf

What are the most common symptoms?

Keep in mind: You may have 1 or all of these symptoms.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) The Flu A Cold Seasonal Allergies
  • Chills
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Aches
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea (loose poop)*
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Vomiting*
  • *more common in children than adults
  • Cough
  • Fever*
  • Mucus dripping down your throat (post-nasal drip)
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Watery eyes
  • *rare
  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Watery eyes

How long does it take for you to have symptoms after you are exposed?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) The Flu A Cold Seasonal Allergies
2 to 14 days 1 to 4 days 1 to 3 days Right away

How long do symptoms last?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) The Flu A Cold Seasonal Allergies
Not known 3 to 7 days 7 to 10 days As long as you’re exposed to allergens

If you start to feel sick, try not to panic or think the worst.

  • Coronavirus shares some of the same symptoms caused by the flu and colds, including fever and cough.
  • Remember, its still cold and flu season and seasonal allergies are widespread.
  • For most people who are normally healthy, coronavirus does not cause serious health problems.

How to seek care for coronavirus:

If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of smell and/or taste, stay home and isolate yourself from others. To find the best care, take our free COVID-19 risk assessment, or call our 24/7 Health Line at 704-468-8888.

If your symptoms are life-threatening, call 911 immediately.

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