Guide to not being overwhelmed early at the first sneeze: how to differentiate the symptoms of the flu, a cold and the coronavirus

In times of pandemic, any mild symptom such as a sneeze or even a little cough alarms us. A few days ago a meme that represents society (and me, why lie, dear readers) was running through the networks at this time in a very clear way, millennial life is what it has: you can tell memes or stickers. The account of @farmacia_enfurecida gave birth to something that had happened to me at least three times in the past week. "Doesn't it happen to you that you get up and it's hard to breathe and you think 'shit, the coronavirus' and then it turns out that 'only' is anxiety?", Wrote Guille, the pharmacist behind this account that already accumulates more than one hundred thousand followers.

This question answers two obvious points, anxiety is the order of the day (not to be) and also, worrying about the slightest symptom of Covid can make us go through a great ordeal. To distinguish between cold, common flu and coronavirus, we have spoken with Dr. Antonio Pardo, head of the Internal Medicine Unit of the Ruber Internacional Hospital.

"The coronavirus, seasonal flu viruses and the common cold are infectious agents primarily responsible for respiratory infections. The initial symptoms are therefore similar, with cough, malaise, fever and respiratory distress," explains the doctor, hence let the concern be so great at the slightest symptom as the time approaches when the flu virus is rampant.

How not to panic? The key is to identify the severity of the symptoms, but also how long they last "The duration of symptoms in the flu or cold is usually limited to several days, rarely more than a week, while in the coronavirus they can be more persistent , with greater respiratory difficulty and even accompanied by other more severe general alterations, such as intense muscle pain, diarrhea, disappearance or decrease in taste and smell, intense headache, exaggerated fatigue … "he says.

The recommendation is to see a doctor if symptoms persist, "the indication to go to a hospital is related to the severity of the symptoms, especially difficulty breathing or the persistence of high fever, above 38 °, after 5 or 6 days, "says Dr. Pardo. Although high fever and dry cough are symptoms of coronavirus and flu, loss of smell, taste and chest pain are signs that we could have Covid and not a simple flu or common cold.

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