Symptoms for COVID-19, Flu, Cold, or Seasonal Allergies


Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic there have been major impacts on global health, the environment, our economy, and our culture.

Going for a walk around your neighborhood or running your everyday errands looks drastically different than it did in the beginning of 2020. A simple cough in public can make people around you wary of your presence, and waking up with a sore throat can automatically make you assume the worst.  

As we continue to learn more about this virus, we can better learn to distinguish the differences between having contracted COVID-19, a seasonal flu, a common cold, or season allergies. Here are the characteristics of each of these sicknesses and how you can distinguish the differences. 

COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms appear 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus. Some people may experience 

  • New Loss of Taste or Smell (Specific symptom of COVID-19) 
  • Shortness of Breath of Difficulty Breathing 
  • Cough 
  • Fever or chills 
  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle or body aches 
  • Headache 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea

Seasonal Flu Symptoms 

Influenza (flu) comes on suddenly and can cause mild to severe illness. Symptoms may include: 

  • Fever or Feeling Feverish (Not everyone will get a fever) 
  • Cough 
  • Fatigue or Body Aches 
  • Headaches 
  • Sore Throat 
  • Stuffy or Runny Nose 

Common Cold Symptoms 

Most people get the common cold in Winter and Spring and usually recover in 7-10 days. Some symptoms may include: 

  • Stuffy or Runny Nose (One of the first symptoms) 
  • Sore Throat (One of the first symptoms) 
  • Sneezing 
  • Chest Discomfort 
  • Cough 

Seasonal Allergies 

Allergy symptoms can be mild to severe and tend to occur seasonally. Symptoms may include: 

  • Runny Nose 
  • Itchy Eyes, Mouth, or Skin 
  • Sneezing 
  • Stuffy Nose 

If you are experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19 call your nearest emergency room to inform them ahead of time you are coming in and are concerned you may have COVID-19. It is crucial for us to be aware of the differences between COVID-19, the flu, a common cold, or seasonal allergies. The best way to avoid these sicknesses (exception of allergies) is to continue wearing your mask anytime you are in public, regularly wash your hands, limit your exposure to other people, avoid touching your face, and stay home if you are sick. 

Micron Disinfection has a Clinical Advisory team comprised of 5 Doctors and Nurses that are experts in Infection Prevention, Infection Control, and diagnostic testing. We collaborated with them to develop this quick symptoms reference guide.* 

*This quick reference guide is designed as an educational tool to help our community understand the common symptoms associated with each type of illness. It should not be used as a basis to evaluate your personal health or as a diagnostic tool. You should contact your doctor if you are not feeling well to have them provide you with a proper clinical recommendation. 

2020 © Micron Disinfection


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