Winter Illness Symptom Checklist

Published on December 14, 2020

woman with cold

Winter Illness Symptom Checklist

With COVID-19 displaying similar symptoms as other common winter illnesses, it can be hard to tell what sickness you have. See our list of common illnesses and their symptoms to help you know what to do.

Remember, if you are not feeling well, please stay home unless you are visiting the doctor, in order to help stop the spread of your illness to others even if you don’t have COVID-19. Avni Jain, MD, family medicine physician with Adventist HealthCare, highlights symptoms for common illnesses and what you should do if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, stay home, quarantine and call your doctor. For a COVID-19 assessment, you can visit an Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care, or you can visit a Maryland state testing center. If you have emergency signs or symptoms that include trouble breathing, inability to wake and or pain or pressure in the chest, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency room.

Tonsillitis Symptoms

Symptoms of tonsillitis can include:

  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • White or yellow patches on the tonsils
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty or painful swallowing
  • Fever
  • Enlarged, tender glands in the neck
  • Scratchy, muffled or throaty voice
  • Bad breath
  • Stomachache
  • Neck pain or stiff neck
  • Headache

Young children may exhibit these additional symptoms:

  • Increased drooling due to painful swallowing
  • Refusal to eat
  • Unusual fussiness

Tonsillitis can look like strep throat. Stay home and call your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Strep Throat Symptoms

Strep throat symptoms can include:

  • Throat pain that comes on quickly
  • Painful swallowing
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • White patches or streaks of pus on tonsils
  • Tiny red spots towards the back of the roof of the mouth
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes in your neck
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Body aches

Stay home and call your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed. Your doctor will need to prescribe you an antibiotic to help clear up your symptoms.

Common Cold Symptoms

Common cold symptoms may include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Slight body aches
  • Mild headache
  • Sneezing
  • Low-grade fever
  • Generally feeling unwell

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please stay home until you are feeling better. If you aren’t already, ask your employer if you can work from home.

Flu Symptoms

Common flu symptoms consist of:

  • Fever
  • Aching muscles
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, stay home and call your doctor.

Stomach Virus Symptoms

Symptoms you may experience with a stomach virus include:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Occasional muscle aches or headache
  • Low-grade fever

Stay home if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. Stomach viruses usually clear up within 24 to 48 hours. Stay home an extra day to give your body another day of recovery so you don’t pick up any other illnesses while your immunity is low.

Sinus Infection Symptoms

Symptoms of a sinus infection can include the following:

  • Pain, pressure and fullness in your cheeks, brow or forehead
  • Worsening pain lying down
  • Stuffy nose
  • Fatigue

Call your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Sinus infections can clear up on their own or in some cases, you may need an antibiotic.

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Seasonal Allergy symptoms can be similar to a cold and include:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing

Occasionally you may experience:

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fatigue

Over the counter allergy medications can help to soothe any symptoms you may be experiencing.

Dr. Jain explains, “while you may not have stayed home for a cold or other minor illness prior to COVID-19, it is important that you stay home if you are feeling ill or don’t quite feel like yourself. By staying home, you’re protecting yourself from picking up other illnesses and others by not spreading your illness.”

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