Cold, Allergies, Flu, or Coronavirus? Know you are not alone.

Many ailments share symptoms. Under ordinary circumstances, people struggle to decide if they should call their local health provider when they or other family members feel sick. The new coronavirus (COVID-19) has complicated the situation. 

Common signs a person has become ill include sore throat, cough, fever, tiredness, runny nose, aches and pains, and an upset stomach—in a variety of combinations. Causes include environmental irritants such as allergens or infections, often from bacteria or viruses.

Viruses are extremely tiny infectious agents. They multiply in the living cells of a host organism like an animal or a human being, and spread from host to host. The subgroup called coronaviruses includes many varieties, some highly infectious and dangerous.

COVID-19, shares some initial similar symptoms with other common respiratory infections. Although our understanding of COVID-19 continues to expand, the following breakdown of typical symptoms by type of ailment may help guide next steps.

Play it safe. Get your flu shot and if you have been exposed to someone sick: stay home and away from others; monitor symptoms; see your provider/get tested; rest; stay hydrated and treat symptoms. When you go out, make sure to socially distance yourself from others and wear a mask (that covers your nose and mouth); continue to wash hands with soap and often; use hand sanitizer and disinfect often-touched surfaces.