COVID-19: Vaccine | Testing | Self-assessment | Patient & Visitor Safety | Visitor Policy
Emergency Room Wait Times
Home > Living Well > Health Library > COVID-19 or Flu? How to Tell
COVID-19 and the flu have similar symptoms. The two can be hard to tell apart. The only way to know for sure which illness you have is to be tested. If you have questions about COVID-19 testing, ask your doctor or go to cdc.gov to use the COVID-19 Viral Testing Tool.
Since the symptoms are so alike, it makes sense to act as if you have COVID-19 until your test results come back. This means staying home and limiting contact with people in your home. You'll need to wash your hands often and disinfect surfaces that you touch. And be sure to wear a mask when you're around other people. This is also good advice if you think you have the flu.
COVID-19 and the flu have these symptoms in common:
COVID-19 has another symptom that also may occur:
COVID-19 symptoms may appear from 2 to 14 days after infection.
Flu symptoms usually appear 1 to 4 days after infection.
It's important to get your yearly flu vaccine. Both the flu and COVID-19 can be active at the same time. You can get sick with both infections at once. And having both may make you more sick than getting just one.
The flu vaccine won't protect you from COVID-19. But it can help prevent the flu or reduce its symptoms. If fewer people get very ill with the flu, this will help free up medical resources that are needed for people who need urgent care, such as those suffering from COVID-19, heart attacks, and injuries from accidents.
Current as of:
June 28, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Heather Quinn MD - Family MedicineLesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: June 28, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.
Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.
Set Your Location
Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.