Not all symptoms are created equally. There are many symptoms of cold, flu, and COVID that are similar, and it may be difficult to distinguish.
However, one key difference between the three is a symptom of coronavirus is shortness of breath.
With COVID-19, shortness of breath often occurs 5 to 10 days after the first sign of fever.
Influenza does mimic COVID-19 very closely, but the shortness of breath is not usually as severe as it is with COVID-19.
The common cold rarely causes shortness of breath after fever develops.
What Should You Do If You Have Shortness Of Breath?
If you have shortness of breath that is new or worse, and you feel breathless with small amounts of activity, then you need to seek medical attention. This was true before COVID-19, and it’s still true now.
If you have a fever, a dry cough, and tiredness (with or without shortness of breath), you are likely to have COVID-19 until proven otherwise, and you should self-isolate.
If shortness of breath is your only symptom, and you have neither a cough nor a fever, it’s probably not COVID-19.