HCMC – Doctor Pham Le Duy from the HCMC University Medical Center pointed out the differences between a cold, the flu, seasonal allergies and Covid-19 at an online workshop on August 27, organized by Sai Gon Tiep Thi magazine in collaboration with Bayer Vietnam, aimed at helping participants and readers distinguish between the four diseases.
During this time of seasonal changes, many people suffer from the flu or seasonal allergies with popular symptoms such as coughing, fever and a runny nose. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, these symptoms make them worry about whether they have a common flu or Covid-19.
This workshop is part of a series of workshops themed “Comprehensive Healthcare”.
According to Doctor Pham Le Duy, there are many similarities between the symptoms of the flu, seasonal allergies and Covid-19 but the frequency of the symptoms varies.
The flu and Covid-19 are caused by different viruses. While Covid-19 is caused by the novel coronavirus, the flu is caused by influenza viruses. Coronavirus attacks the lungs first, causing symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Fever and cough are the common symptoms of the flu, cold and Covid-19 but not of seasonal allergies.
Some symptoms of Covid-19 that are different from the flu and the cold may include a change in or the loss of taste or smell.
The symptoms of a cold are generally mild compared to the flu and Covid-19. Most symptoms of the cold are actually not caused by the infection itself, but by the immune system’s reaction to the infection.
If patients develop symptoms such as sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, it’s possible that they might have a cold or seasonal allergies and not the flu or Covid-19.
In conclusion, it may be hard to distinguish between a cold, the flu, seasonal allergies and Covid-19 based on symptoms alone as some of them are common. Therefore, testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.
Doctor Duy noted that Covid-19 is a contagious disease and can spread between people who are in close contact. Droplets from people infected with Covid-19 when they cough, sneeze or talk can land in the mouths or noses of people around or be inhaled into the lungs, helping the virus spread.
Therefore, everyone should strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s guidance, including wearing face masks properly, washing hands regularly, avoiding large gatherings, limiting close contact with other people and practicing other social distancing measures.