Netdoctor & Patient Info

What are the differences between colds, flu and Covid-19?

Colds, flu and COVID-19 all come with at least some similar symptoms – so how can you know which is which, and what should you do if you’re worried?

It’s a common pattern – after barely suffering a sniffle all summer, you find yourself coughing and sneezing your way into autumn. Whether it’s just a cold or (in more serious cases) flu, there’s always an uptick in cases as it gets colder.

It isn’t entirely clear why colds and flu are more common in the autumn and winter, but scientists do have a few ideas. Cold weather may influence the way our immune systems deal with viruses. A lack of humidity in the air may help these viruses thrive. And since we spend more time indoors, we may come into contact with more people who are harbouring infections.

Unfortunately, this winter we’ll be dealing with another nasty on top of the usual suspects. At this stage, it’s hard to say how colder temperatures will affect transmission of COVID-19, but we do know there’s everything to play for in terms of avoiding a second wave.

Read the rest of this article on Patient

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