Difference between Covid-19, Flu and Cold


A cough, a sneeze and a high temperature these days immediately arouse suspicion of coronavirus. But with precise knowledge of the symptoms and course of the disease, you can assess for yourself whether the body is actually under attack from the covid-19 coronavirus.

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How to know the difference between flu, cold and COVID-19

Influenza, colds and COVID-19 are all three virus-borne respiratory diseases that have a wide variety of disease features in common. The crucial difference is that the coronavirus is currently leaving behind a rapidly growing trace of dead and seriously ill.

In this situation, it is important that you are able to decode the body signals that separate the viral diseases from one another.

In the end, only one test can determine if you are actually infected with coronavirus – but your symptoms may give you a more or less reasoned suspicion.

Symptoms of Coronavirus, cold and flu

During the first, mild stage of COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization WHO , you have dry cough and your general condition is affected. Your body behaves differently than usual eg with light fever and maybe fatigue . A central indicator is the dry, persistent cough.

If you cough with no other symptoms, it is probably not due to coronavirus.

The flu typically includes several symptoms that quickly make you noticeably incapacitated.

Do you have coronavirus? Compare the symptoms here:

Different Symptoms of Coronavirus, Flu and cold


Another way of identifying coronavirus infection is by assessing the period from the onset of the infection until the symptoms appear – the so-called incubation period.

Influenza develops rapidly over 1-4 days, while COVID-19 builds up more slowly . The median – the middle measure – for when infected people begin to notice symptoms is 5.1 days according to a study.

A cold will appear within 1-3 days.


The immune system’s response to millions of virus particles in the lungs can develop into pneumonia over several days.

Be aware if your breathing becomes much more frequent; going from about 12-16 to 20-30 breaths per minute. Under normal circumstances, the same warning signs do not occur with colds and flu.

For example, if you have difficulty in breathing and if you feel pressure in your chest, you should contact your physician immediately , according to the CDC .