COVID, RSV or flu? Methods to inform the signs aside

(NEXSTAR) – Three respiratory diseases, COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the flu, proceed to contaminate lots of of 1000’s of People day by day – which might make it laborious to inform what’s improper while you really feel a cough kicking in.

All three viruses trigger illness with overlapping signs. A chart created by Kids’s Nationwide Hospital in Washington, D.C. compares the most typical variations at a look.

Whereas cough and fever are widespread with all three, there are different methods the viruses differ. Sneezing is widespread with RSV, occurs typically with COVID-19 and is uncommon with the flu, in keeping with the hospital’s symptom chart. However, complications and physique aches are uncommon with RSV, occur typically with COVID-19 and are widespread with the flu.

One other factor to concentrate to is the “onset of signs,” Kids’s Nationwide says. Whereas COVID-19 and RSV each begin gradual then escalate, the flu normally hits laborious and quick.

With RSV, signs usually go away in a few week, in keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Signs persist longer with the flu, about one to 2 weeks, and may final even longer with COVID-19.

A chart created by Kids’s Nationwide Hospital compares signs related to COVID-19, flu and RSV. (Picture: Kids’s Nationwide)

The severity of signs in all three instances varies from individual to individual.

One other key distinction: There are vaccines for flu and COVID-19, however no vaccine for RSV – although researchers are engaged on one.

Whereas inspecting your signs is an effective place to begin, medical doctors advocate getting examined to assist inform subsequent steps.

“For each flu and for COVID, we’ve got antivirals that work if taken early after indicators of signs,” stated Dr. Andrew Pekosz, a virologist and professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Faculty of Public Well being. “So significantly should you’re in a high-risk group, it’s good to know that. … These are necessary instruments that we actually must hold utilizing.”