Worrying about contracting COVID-19 is heavy on many people’s mind, but as we head in to cold and flu season that fear becomes much more complicated. If you get sick this fall or winter do you know how to distinguish rather it’s the cold, flu, or COVID-19? It’s impossible to know for sure without getting tested but knowing the similarities and differences between the illnesses can help you determine if testing is even necessary.


Some common symptoms are shared between the cold, flu, and COVID-19. These include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches
  • cough

The flu and COVID-19 share even more similarities that the cold does not. Those similarities include a fever, nausea, vomiting, and a sore throat.


There are two important symptoms that set COVID-19 apart from the flu and the common cold. COVID-19 often causes a sudden loss of taste or smell. COVID-19 may also cause difficulty breathing or shortness of breath in more severe cases. If you have either of those symptoms, you should assume you have covid-19 and get tested right away. COVID-19 and flu symptoms typically come on quickly, while cold symptoms come on more gradually. Stay in tune with your body so you’re able to provide an accurate description of when your symptoms began.

How AFC Urgent Care Norwalk Can Help

Getting sick is never fun but knowing where to go for treatment is a great way to put your mind at ease. If you develop symptoms of illness, call AFC Urgent Care Norwalk to discuss those symptoms and what your next course of action should be. If you need flu or COVID-19 testing, or general treatment for your symptoms, the urgent care center will ask you to come in and address those needs on the same day that you call. AFC Urgent Care Norwalk can also administer your flu shot now, to limit your risk of developing illness in the future. Using an urgent care to get vaccinated and manage illness is ideal because they’re open 7 days a week and don’t require an appointment to be seen. The quicker you call after noticing symptoms, the better!