GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Flu season has arrived once again, and with the coronavirus pandemic still taking place, there’s some confusion about the difference between the two.
Experts with Spectrum Health say ultimately, the symptoms aren’t very different between the coronavirus and the flu. They say the best way to know which one you have if you aren’t feeling well is to get tested.
“If I could give the biggest message it would be you would want to rule out you do not have coronavirus because of its implications, so testing is the only way to know what you have,” said Dr. Kristopher Brenner with Spectrum Health. “One of the things that probably is a differentiator is coronavirus is not just bad flu, it’s a significant disease. Typically, when you get infected by the respiratory droplets for the flu, you’re going to have symptoms in a day or two, a lot of times, coronavirus doesn’t onset for four or five days.”
Brenner says even though the two are not the same, they may come across as such.
“Both can give you things like nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, fever, feeling tired, muscle aching. The real, the only way to really know which of the ones you have is to get tested,” said Brenner.
In addition to getting tested, he says to get vaccinated against both.
“If you haven’t had your coronavirus vaccine series of Moderna or Pfizer two, or the J&J one, seriously consider doing this, and it not only protects you but the loved ones around you. There’s no reason to not get them both at the same time,” said Brenner.
Brenner says even though they have not had a hospitalization for the flu just yet, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“The main takeaway is get your vaccines,” said Brenner. “If you feel like you have symptoms, please obtain a symptomatic COVID test to make sure that you are not infected with that.”