How To Get Tested
There are several options out there when it comes to testing your child for COVID-19, says Dr. Williamson.
First, you can take your child to your pediatrician for a test. This may be most comfortable because your child will be familiar with the location and the staff performing the test. If its after hours or you cant get an appointment at the pediatrician, you can go to your local urgent care for a test.
You might also consider looking into an at-home COVID-19 test, which can be purchased from your local pharmacy. These are convenient and helpful, and give results within minutes. Dr. Williamson warns that these tests sometimes give false negatives, and that a PCR test given in a medical facility might be more accurate. Still, if an at-home antigen test comes back positive, you should alert your childs school, daycare, or anyone they have been in contact with.
What If I Am Very Unwell
People with coronavirus have a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Some will have none at all, but can still be infectious.
Symptoms may appear up to two weeks after exposure to coronavirus, but usually around day five.
Feeling breathless can be a sign of a more serious coronavirus infection.
If you are having trouble breathing, contact your doctor online or over the phone, or the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
If you are very worried about sudden shortness of breath ring 999.
And the NHS advises:
- If your child seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there’s something seriously wrong, call 999
- Do not delay getting help if you’re worried. Trust your instincts
What Symptoms To Look For
Early signs of cold, flu and COVID-19 tend to be similar, El-Sayed said.
Both COVID-19 and the flu often cause symptoms such as fever, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, shortness of breath and vomiting or diarrhea, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
COVID-19 infection can be distinguished, however, by the headache and dry cough that often go along with it. The loss of taste and smell that has been the biggest warning sign of a COVID-19 infection is still a possible symptom, though it is less prevalent now than it has been with other variants, El-Sayed said.
“For people who are feeling serious chest pain, particularly with a dry cough that has gotten worse, that’s when you really ought to seek medical attention,” he warned.
The most important factor to consider is exposure.
“If you are starting to feel any of these symptoms, it’s worth asking: Has anybody with whom I’ve come into contact been infected with COVID? It’s also worth isolating and taking a rapid test,” he advised.
Even if you’re not feeling symptoms yet, it may be best to exercise caution if you have been around someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
“I do think it is worth keeping a high suspicion that it could be COVID considering that we have the omicron variant spreading like wildfire,” El-Sayed added.
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Best Cold Flu And Covid
The best home treatments for any of these illnesses depend on the exact symptoms you’re experiencing. Torres shared some advice about over-the-products that can help, but always check with your health care provider first.
Fever and body aches: Use pain- and fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Congestion: For a stuffy nose, use an over-the-counter decongestant like guaifenesin .
Fatigue: Make sure you stay hydrated, get enough electrolytes and rest up. “Sleep is one of your biggest aids you can use right now that lets your body recuperate and regenerate itself so it can protect you and it keeps your immune system strong,” Torres said.
Difficulty breathing: If you experience any difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or if your symptoms get worse rather than improving, you should speak with a doctor, Torres said.
What About A Cough
If you have a cold or flu you may well have a cough, along with other symptoms.
Flu usually comes on suddenly and sufferers will often experience muscle aches, chills, headaches, tiredness, a sore throat and a runny or stuffed nose, along with the cough. It feels worse than a heavy cold.
Colds tend to develop more gradually and are less severe, although they do still make you feel unwell. Along with a cough, there may be sneezing and a sore throat and runny nose. Fever, chills, muscle aches and headaches are rare.
A coronavirus cough means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing fits or “episodes” in 24 hours.
If you usually have a cough because of a long-standing medical condition like COPD, it may be worse than usual.
You should get tested for coronavirus if you develop a new, continuous cough.
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How Do I Know If I Have A Cold Or Covid
At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the main distinguishing symptoms of COVID-19 were thought to be fever, cough and loss of smell , often known as the âclassic three or triadâ.
Thanks to millions of health reports from our ZOE COVID Study app contributors, we now know that there are more than 20 symptoms of COVID-19, including headache, runny nose, sneezing and sore throat.
Over the past 18 months the pattern of symptoms has changed as the virus has evolved and more people have been vaccinated.
Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are now the same as a regular cold, especially for people who have received two doses of the vaccine, making it hard to tell the difference.
Take a look at the lists below to know which of the most common COVID-19 symptoms you should be looking out for, depending on whether youâve been vaccinated or not.
Our data shows that loss of smell or loss of taste is still one of the most important predictors of testing positive for COVID-19 rather than a regular cold, so itâs an important symptom to look out for, whether youâve been vaccinated or not.
You can check your sense of smell easily at home by sniffing scented foods or products, or noticing whether familiar foods start to lose their flavour or taste strange.
I’m A Doctor And Here’s What A Faint Line On Your Covid Test Really Means
Regardless of your symptoms, it may be best to get a Covid test just to check and Health Secretary Sajid Javid has urged Brits to take a lateral flow test before going out and meeting with friends.
If it is positive, there are strict self-isolation rules. But if it is negative, experts say if you are unwell, its best to stay away from people to prevent spreading bugs, anyway.
Follow our Omicron Covid live blog for all the latest news & stories
Even if you are adamant you have a cold, it could be Covid, and vice versa.
We get it – its becoming hard to keep up with advice and when to take your runny nose seriously.
Here, we give an idea of what to expect with each virus at the moment – from the latest super Covid strain Omicron to the classic common cold.
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When To Get Tested
The consensus is that you should take your child to the doctor to get tested for COVID-19 anytime they are exhibiting cold-like symptoms or arent feeling well. Dr. Gupta says that although children may be less likely to present with COVID-19 symptoms than adults , you shouldnt assume that your childs symptoms are just a cold.
If you have a child who is going back into a classroom in close quarters with other children, you should probably get your child tested for COVID if they feel sick, even if that illness first presents as a cold, Dr. Gupta said.
The reason its important to get your child tested for COVID is because you dont want to risk spreading such a serious disease to others in your community, says Dr. Fisher.
The Common Cold Versus Covid: A Doctor Explains How To Tell The Difference
For all the fabulous parts of fallcozy sweaters, gorgeous weather, pumpkin flavored everythingthere are some not-so-wonderful things that come with the season. Namely, cold season. Ugh. But while weve never particularly liked having a common cold, weve been especially on edge about that familiar feeling since the advent of COVID-19. Is our runny nose the product of a cold or COVID? How about that nagging cough? Thats why we checked in with Dr. Phillip Kadaj, MD, FACP, internal medicine doctor at JustAnswer, a site that connects users with experts, for his take on how to tell the difference between a cold versus COVID. Heres what you need to know as we transition away from summer and into cold season.
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Symptoms Of Covid And A Cold
According to the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app, the most common signs of Covid right now are:
- Runny nose
- Pressure in your ears and face
- Loss of taste and smell
A sore throat can be caused by lots of respiratory illnesses, like a seasonal cold, and therefore may not be caused by Covid.
If a person has a sore throat lasting longer than five days, it may be worth seeing a doctor as this could signal something else.
But the way to tell if a sore throat is caused by Covid or a common cold may come down to the other symptoms that accompany it – or, simply, get a PCR test to be sure.
In vaccinated people – the majority of the UK population – the top symptom people with Covid have reported is a runny nose .
This is followed by a headache , sneezing , sore throat and loss of smell .
If Youre Newly Ill It Could Be Covid
Right now, you can only get an NHS test if you have any of the three core symptoms of cough, fever or loss or change in smell . But data from the ZOE app shows that 31% of people who are ill with COVID-19 donât have any of these three signs in the early stages of the disease.
This means that many people who are infected might not get tested and could still be spreading the virus to their loved ones and the wider community.
However, you can get a test through the ZOE COVID Symptom Study if you log any of the known symptoms in the app.
We have shown that testing everybody experiencing any of seven key symptoms – cough, fever, loss of smell, fatigue, sore throat, headache or diarrhoea – would detect 96% of symptomatic coronavirus infections.
If you start feeling ill, especially with any of the seven symptoms listed above, it could be COVID-19. You should self-isolate, , log your symptoms and get a test to help protect your community and bring the pandemic to an end.
Stay safe and keep logging.
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How Should You Treat A Cold And Covid
If you test positive for COVID-19, its important to isolate yourself from the public and other members of your household to lower the risk youll spread the virus to other people, per the CDC. If youre just feeling a little lousy, Dr. Nelson recommends taking acetaminophen for fever and staying hydrated.
The rules are the same for a cold, he says. Rest may help in terms of fighting off both viruses, Dr. Murphy says.
But if you have COVID-19 and you develop more serious symptoms, like having trouble breathing, feeling disoriented, or developing bluish lips, see a doctor ASAP.
What Are The Main Symptoms Of Covid
According to the Zoe symptom tracker app, developed by researchers at Kings College London, the most common symptom of Covid is a headache. It is incredibly widespread: two-thirds of the under 40s currently suffering from the virus have a headache as well as over half of those over 40.
The next most common symptoms are a sore throat and runny nose classic features of a common cold. Half of those under 40 report a sore throat or runny nose and about a third of the over 40s feel the same.
For the over 40s with the virus, none of the classic symptoms named by the NHS makes it into the top five most common signs of the virus. Four in 10 people under 40 report either a fever or persistent cough.
Experts have warned that omicron is triggering a rather different set of symptoms compared to previous variants. These include fatigue, body aches , sore or “scratchy” throat and even sneezing.
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How Do I Know If I Have Covid Or An Allergy
Having a high temperature is a common sign of a cold or Covid. However, coronavirus can cause loss or change of smell or taste without a blocked nose.
Other allergies can cause a scratchy feeling in your throat. Sore throats are also common in Covid or colds but are more likely to feel painful rather than itchy.
Do You Have A Cold The Flu Or Covid
A common cold, a case of the flu or COVID-19. The illnesses all share similar symptoms, sometimes making it hard to distinguish which is putting you under the weather.
Estimated read time: 5-6 minutes
ATLANTA Do you have a sore throat, a runny nose and muscle aches? It could be a common cold, a case of the flu or COVID-19.
The illnesses all share similar symptoms, sometimes making it hard to distinguish which is putting you under the weather.
Case rates of COVID-19 have been on the rise as the omicron variant has spread, but hospitalization numbers appear to be staying relatively low. For vaccinated people, evidence suggests that infection with this variant seems less likely to be severe, epidemiologist and former Detroit Health Department executive director, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed said.
“The important thing to remember is a vaccine is like giving a ‘be on the lookout’ call to your immune system. So its capacity to identify, target and destroy viruses is so much higher every time we take another boost of the vaccine,” El-Sayed said. “It makes sense that the symptoms you would experience are milder if you have been vaccinated.”
That does not mean, however, that infections shouldn’t be taken seriously, he added, especially when considering the risk of overwhelming health care systems.
Many COVID-19 infections may look like a cold or flu. The best way to know is to get a test, said Dr. Sarah Ash Combs, attending physician at Children’s National Hospital.
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What Is The Best Way To Protect Yourself And Others From Covid
The best way to protect yourself from the flu and COVID-19 is to get vaccinated against both viruses. Even though no vaccine is 100% effective, vaccinations can help guard against the virus and prevent severe illness and hospitalization.
People who are pregnant and older adults should get vaccinated as soon as possible because COVID-19 and influenza can lead to hospitalization and death, said Hamer, the Boston University professor. He also predicts more COVID-19 booster shots will be given in the coming months to reduce transmission of COVID-19 over the winter.
Experts suggest that your local COVID-19 transmission level should guide your plans for the holiday season. He highly recommends outdoor gatherings and getting all guests vaccinated.
And people should consider antigen testing as another level of protection, especially if you’re planning a gathering — whether they’re showing symptoms or not.
If you’re ever unsure about your symptoms or illness, it’s best to get tested. Remember to follow other well-known hygiene tips, like washing your hands often, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and staying home if you’re not feeling well.
Could My Cold Be Rsv
It might be, although it’s hard to tell the difference between symptoms. RSV is one of the most common causes of childhood illness, but it can also affect adults. Like the common cold, cases of RSV largely vanished during the lockdowns, but have been steadily rising since. In adults and healthy children over the age of one, symptoms tend to be mild, and infections usually clear up within a week.
Most babies and young children who catch RSV can be treated at home, in the same way that parents would treat a common cold. The infection usually goes away within two weeks.
More severe cases require a trip to the hospital, where your child might be offered oxygen, IV fluids and medications to open their airways.
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Kansas Among States With Highest Flu Levels
Kansas is among the five states and territories with the highest flu activity levels in the country, according to data released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The federal health agency reported increasing flu activity, with a high prevalence of the influenza A strain, especially among children and young adults. Flu hospitalizations are rising nationwide, and the first two pediatric flu deaths of the season were reported last week.
So far, flu vaccine uptake has been lower than last year.
“The flu season is just getting started,” CDC officials said. “Theres still time to get vaccinated. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications. CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine.”
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase in flu hospitalizations and urged people to get vaccinated.
“We’re going to have flu this year,” said Rachael Liesman, director of KU’s clinical and molecular microbiology laboratories. “And I think that that’s gonna further stress our laboratory and our hospital.
She urged people to wear masks, wash their hands, and to get vaccinated against both the flu and COVID-19.
More data is needed to understand how well the rapid tests perform with the new variant.