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Flu vs. COVID-19: How to Tell the Difference

Discerning the differences between the influenza virus and COVID-19 can be difficult since they are both contagious respiratory illnesses that share many common symptoms. For example, both the flu and COVID-19 can present with fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, and fatigue. However, there are several symptoms of COVID-19 that are not present in flu patients. These include shortness of breath and having a new loss of taste or smell. If you have these additional symptoms, you likely have COVID-19.

Testing Is the Most Accurate Way to Tell the Difference Between the Flu vs. COVID-19

If you’re feeling under the weather and aren’t sure whether you’re experiencing a bout of the flu or have contracted COVID-19, the best thing to do is get a COVID-19 test. At PhysicianOne Urgent Care, we offer prompt tests for COVID-19 at all of our locations. Here’s how our process works:

  • First, we encourage you to schedule a virtual visit with our team so you can be evaluated from the comfort of home. We offer virtual visits seven days per week for your convenience.
  • Next, one of our experienced medical practitioners will briefly evaluate your symptoms to determine if you should come to one of our urgent care centers for a COVID-19 test or flu treatment.
  • If further care is recommended, you can stop by any of our locations in Massachusetts, New York, or Connecticut. We offer both PCR and rapid COVID-19 testing at all PhysicianOne Urgent Care locations, as well as rapid flu testing for our patients.

Flu vs. COVID-19 Treatment

Treatment for the flu and COVID-19 is quite similar, as you’ll want to get lots of rest, stay hydrated, and take over-the-counter pain relievers to feel better. It’s also crucial to stay home, unless you need to seek medical care, and to isolate yourself as much as possible to reduce your risk of infecting other people in your home.

The flu can be treated with antiviral drugs, although they are most effective if taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Individuals with the flu can also receive a flu vaccine, which may lessen the severity of their symptoms. Currently, there is no FDA-approved treatment for COVID-19.

We’re Open 365 Days Per Year

PhysicianOne Urgent Care was founded in 2008 by a trio of physicians who wanted to bring high-quality, attentive medical care to the local community. We aim to make the urgent care process seamless and efficient for our patients, ensuring they can get the care they need right when they need it. That’s why all of our urgent care centers are open every day of the year and have extended evening hours. Plus, with our online check-in system, our patients can wait in the comfort of their homes until it’s time to come in, effectively skipping the wait in the waiting room. We’re also proud to offer our patients a wealth of options to help them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, such as informative blog posts along with prompt testing and treatment. We’re here for you, every step of the way.

If you are concerned that you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, reach out to the team at PhysicianOne Urgent Care today. You can easily schedule a virtual visit to have your symptoms evaluated by one of our experienced medical providers.

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Derby, CT

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Hamden, CT

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Westwood, MA

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today."

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Somers, NY