Coronavirus Symptoms Compared with Flu - GMC Dubai

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Coronavirus Symptoms Compared with Flu

Coronavirus Symptoms Compared with Flu

Coronavirus Symptoms Compared with Flu

Coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and has infected and killed many people around the world. Coronavirus is spreading rapidly compared to other viruses like MERS and SARS. It is easy to confuse Coronavirus symptoms with Flu.

With the number of new infections rising in the UAE and all over the world, it is advisable to know the differences between Coronavirus and Flu. Knowing this will help you to seek early intervention and to avoid spreading the virus.

Coronavirus and Flu Overview

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), common cold, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A new coronavirus was identified in 2019 and it is now referred to as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Flu, on the other hand, is a contagious respiratory disease caused by influenza. Most people get the flu mostly in early spring and winter. Although flu goes away on its own, sometimes, it can be deadly.

Coronavirus vs. Flu Symptoms

As Coronavirus continues to spread and evolve, some symptoms can appear similar to those of flu. There are both respiratory diseases, but their symptoms and ways of transmission are different as outlined below.

Both are Respiratory Diseases

Coronavirus and flu are both respiratory diseases; this means they affect your throat, nose, and lungs. One of the most obvious Coronavirus symptoms is a weakened respiratory system. This virus comes into contact with the mucous membranes lining your eyes, nose, and mouth. Coronavirus virus can affect either the lower or upper part of your respiratory tract. This causes inflammation and irritation. Similarly, flu also attacks your respiratory system


Both flu and Coronavirus symptoms include having a fever. Recognizing when you have a fever is necessary so you can seek early treatment. Normal body temperature is usually 37 degrees Celsius; however, this can vary slightly from person to person.

A fever can also be caused by other elements; but if you are worried, telehealth can help you to get a physician’s advice and you don’t have to leave your home. Telehealth is one of the safest ways to get a doctor’s opinion and consultation without exposure to the virus.


Both cause patients to cough. Coronavirus symptoms include having a dry, persistent cough that causes shortness of breath. As the disease develops, your lung tissues fill with fluid and this increases breathing difficulties as you struggle to get more oxygen.

Flu, on the other hand, is characterized by a wet cough. A wet cough produces phlegm/mucus. This happens because your body tries to push the mucus out of your airways. A cough might also be caused by environmental factors like dust and chemicals.

If you’re feeling unwell and worried about your cough, you don’t have to visit the hospital and possibly get infected. The best and safest alternative is calling 800GMCDOC. This is a reliable home healthcare service that allows you to book immediate appointments in the Emirates. The service is available 24/7, 365 days.

Runny/Stuffy Nose

A runny nose is a symptom of both Coronavirus and flu. They both cause mucus to drip from your nostrils. A stuffy nose or nasal congestion is characterized by mucus buildup or swollen nasal cavities.

Irritation and inflammation of the nasal passage can increase mucus production. This causes the excess mucus to drain through your nose.

A runny or stuffy nose can also be caused by allergies and other environmental factors. Nasal congestion can also affect expectant women, usually at the end of their first trimester. If you or your kids experience any of these symptoms, you can get an OBGYN or a pediatrician to visit your home during the day, depending on when the doctor is available. You don’t have to risk your life and those of your loved ones.

Sore Throat

A sore throat is characterized by a dry, scratchy, or a painful sensation in your throat. However, pain is the most common symptom. Although a sore throat is not one of the most common Coronavirus symptoms, it still affects some people. A sore throat causes difficulty breathing and swallowing, and even a hoarse voice. A sore throat from the flu goes away on its own.


Both flu and Coronavirus symptoms include fatigue. This is a feeling of a lack of energy and exhaustion. It causes you to feel sluggish, weak and drained. Although fatigue might be caused by other illnesses like the common cold, it is more severe in if you have flu.

Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea

Although Coronavirus and flu have similar symptoms, they also have differences. Most patients with Coronavirus experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. This is because coronavirus can affect your gut and cause these problems. The virus is not only present in a patient’s throat and nose, but also in the duodenum, esophagus, stomach, and rectum.

These gastrointestinal symptoms attack the cells found in your bowel. An upset stomach might be an early warning sign of Coronavirus for patients who experience the mild form of this virus. This means that a person can have the disease and not experience respiratory symptoms, but exhibit gastrointestinal symptoms.

Loss of Smell and Taste

Loss of smell is a well-known symptom of Coronavirus. This happens because Coronavirus is most concentrated in a patient’s nose. This symptom might last between 7-14 days. The loss of smell is temporary because the virus does not cause any damage to the receptors, but only causes inflammation in the patient’s olfactory nerves.

It is common to experience these symptoms in case of a viral infection. When a patient is infected with Coronavirus, he might experience nasal blockage and congestion. This causes a temporary loss of taste and smell.

The best way to stay safe and to prevent others from getting infected is by using 800GMCDOC which is a doctors on call service to get checked and treated at your home. Telelmedicine services also come in handy because you can get a doctor’s consultation from home through your laptop or mobile phone. During this pandemic it is crucial to practice social distancing/self-isolation.

Coronavirus and flu symptoms are similar in most ways because both illnesses affect the respiratory system. However, you can identify if you have flu or Coronavirus. Flu symptoms are not as severe as those of Coronavirus and they usually go away on their own. There are also other differences like Coronavirus is characterized by a loss of taste or smell. In a nutshell, these diseases might be similar, but they are different in severity and symptoms.

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