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Strep vs. Flu vs. COVID-19

Strep vs. Flu vs. COVID-19 means a whole new level of stress for Parents, Teachers, and Students this back to school season. This pandemic has put people on edge, especially if they, or a loved one, starts showing symptoms for any type of sickness. The next few months put us right into Flu and Strep season. This Is already a trying time for everyone, particularly families and students, but when you add COVID to the mix it can elevate an already stressful period. In this Blog we will go through the differences and similarities of Strep vs. Flu vs. COVID so you will be better prepared to know one from the other as this season approaches.


Graph that illustrates differences between Strep vs. Flu vs. COVID-19

Flu vs. COVID-19 : how can you tell?

The flu, like COVID-19, is a respiratory virus. The main difference between them is what virus causes them. Unlike COVID, which is caused by a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the flu is caused by various strains of the Influenza virus. Although the Flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses, they share very similar symptoms and may require testing to be able to tell which one you might have.

Similarities between Flu vs. COVID-19:

The Flu and COVID-19 can share many characteristics and both can appear Asymptomatic (no symptoms), symptoms they both share are:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever/chills
  • Body Aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
Differences Between Flu vs. COVID-19

While they share a lot of the same symptoms, there are some signs you can use to tell the difference. COVID-19 is known to cause shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Having The Flu can also cause these same symptoms but is much more rare for it to cause difficulty breathing. COVID has been documented to cause a loss of taste and smell, unlike The Flu. This symptom can appear with The Flu but it is not likely to happen. Perhaps the most drastic difference between the two is how suddenly symptoms can appear. While both can go days without showing symptoms, the onset of those symptoms vary greatly. Anyone who has had The Flu will know just how quickly symptoms start appearing. COVID’s symptoms will appear much more gradually, most of the time over the course of days, not hours like The Flu.

Strep vs. Flu vs. COVID-19: how can you tell?

Now that we are familiar with the similarities and differences between The Flu vs. COVID-19, what about Strep vs. Flu vs. COVID-19? Strep throat is another sickness to be wary of as we head into the colder months. While both the Flu and COVID-19 are both respiratory viruses, strep throat is a bacterial infection. It is specially caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. Strep, while still similar to Flu and COVID-19, might be easier to tell a part.

Similarities between Strep vs. Flu. COVID-19

While they are all very different from one another, there are still symptoms they all share in common:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body Aches

Just like the Flu, Strep symptoms can appear suddenly and very quickly. Thankfully there are more differences between Strep, Flu and COVID-19.

Differences between Strep vs. Flu. COVID-19

Strep usually causes additional symptoms that are usually not attributed to The Flu or Covid-19:

  • Pain when Swallowing
  • Small red spots on the roof of mouth
  • Swollen red tonsils
  • Swollen lymph node on neck
  • A rash

As mentioned above, strep symptoms appear quickly and suddenly unlike COVID. Another difference is that Strep usually does not cause cough, congestion, or shortness of breath

Still not sure? Visit us!

Even with all the information available to us, it can still be hard to tell which is which. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, we recommend visiting one of Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine’s locations to be tested and treated. Here at Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine, We care Every day about each and every one of our patients. Please schedule a virtual appointment with us if you are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19. We also recommend checking out this resource written by the CDC to give you a more detailed look into the differences and similarities between Strep vs. Flu vs. COVID-19.