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The Complete Guide to Differentiate between Cold, Flu, RSV, and COVID-19

The Complete Guide to Differentiate between Cold Flu RSV and COVID 19 e1669699837477

As fall turns to winter, it’s time to brush up on your knowledge of the seasonal respiratory viruses. These include the common cold, flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19. Although there may be some overlap in symptoms between these diseases, they are in fact caused by separate viruses and are treated in different ways. With the viral storm sweeping the globe right now, it’s extremely important for us in Calgary to be aware of these variations.

The Common Cold

A number of viruses, including rhinoviruses, are responsible for the mild disease known as the common cold.

A sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, mild fever, and general feeling of malaise are all possible symptoms of the common cold. These signs and symptoms often subside after a few days, though they could remain for up to a week or two. The flu and the common cold can be easily passed from person to person or from surface to surface if you come into touch with them.

The Flu

The influenza virus, or the flu, is much more dangerous than the average cold. The influenza virus is to blame, and this illness spreads rapidly.

Flu symptoms may include high body temperature, chills, sore throat, runny nose, coughing, extreme tiredness, and aches and pains. The flu can be spread through contact with infected individuals and surfaces at any time, but is most contagious during the first three days of symptoms.

Rest, water, and over-the-counter pain relievers are typical treatments for the flu.


The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory disease in children and infants of all ages.

Coughing, wheezing, breathing problems, and a runny or stuffy nose are all possible symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus infection. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is contagious through direct or indirect contact with an infected person or surface and can progress to more serious respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.

A restful environment, plenty of fluids, and over-the-counter pain relievers are all recommended for patients with respiratory syncytial virus.


An outbreak of respiratory sickness that began in late 2019 has been traced to a virus known as SARS-CoV2.

Fever, headaches, chills, cough, shortness of breath, exhaustion, and body aches are all possible symptoms of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a serious illness that is contagious by direct contact with infected people or infected surfaces.

Rest, water, and pain relievers are the usual treatments for COVID-19.

How can we differentiate between those four viruses?

Talking about your symptoms with your healthcare provider, including your doctor and your pharmacist, is the best method to determine whether you are suffering from a cold, the flu, RSV, or COVID-19. Your healthcare practitioner will be able to assist you in diagnosing your condition and providing the right treatment.

How can we defend ourselves against those viruses?

A yearly flu shot is another crucial step in preventing the spread of the influenza virus. The grave effects of the various COVID-19 variations can be avoided by receiving the entire COVID-19 immunization and any necessary boosters.

Home COVID-19 test kits are available from Ogden Pharmacy and other local and national pharmacies in the Calgary area.

Keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy this winter requires knowledge of the differences between the common cold, the influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and COVID-19.

Let’s say you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned signs. In that event, you should get medical help, listen to your doctor’s orders, and take precautions to save yourself and your loved ones.

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