Health, Science

How to Tell if You Have COVID-19 Caused by the Coronavirus

A guide to help determine if you have COVID-19, the common cold, or the flu

Avatar Written by Lysha R
· 1 min read >

Are you concerned that you may have COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2?

As the common cold and flu are going around at the same time COVID-19 takes the world by storm, it’s worrisome for anyone to start getting sick. While it’s impossible to know without getting tested, there are certain symptoms that relate more to each sickness.

It’s important to note that if at anytime you are experiencing a medical emergency please contact 911 or the emergency number for your local area.

What are the symptoms for COVID-19? What are the symptoms for the common cold? What are the symptoms for the flu?


Symptoms of COVID-19 usually present themselves in the first 6 days of exposure but there are reports of people remaining asymptomatic for periods of up to 2 weeks or longer. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are the following:

Cough (usually dry)
Sore Throat
Shortness of Breath

While slightly less common, other symptoms include:

Aches and Pains

While some people have reported experiencing diarrhea, runny or stuffy noses, and sneezing these symptoms have been reported to be quite rare with COVID-19.

Common Cold

With the common cold, there is usually a gradual onset of symptoms.

The most common symptoms of the common cold are:

Sore Throat
Runny or Stuffy Nose
Aches and Pains

Headaches and fevers are quite rare with the common cold. Diarrhea and shortness of breath should not present themselves as symptoms of the common cold.


The symptoms of the flu are usually quite abrupt and often come on quite suddenly.

The most common symptoms of the flu are:

Cough (usually dry)
Aches and Pains

While diarrhea is quite rare in adults, it can be more common for children.

It is uncommon to be experiencing shortness of breath, and sneezing with the flu.

If you are experiencing any symptoms feel free to use this article to help determine how at risk you are to have developed COVID-19 from the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. If you have a runny nose and a wet cough, you likely just have a cold. If you have a sore throat and a dry cough I would recommend following the protocols set out in the area that you live to determine if you’re eligible to receive COVID-19 testing.

Please remember the most important step to take is self-quarantine when you develop any symptoms that may lead you to think you have COVID-19. If your symptoms are mild, you are likely going to ride this out at home.

Drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, and stay positive!

For the most up to date information you should always check the World Health Association’s website.

Is there any precautions you and your family have been taking to avoid getting COVID-19? If so, I would love to hear about them in the comment below! Community advice and guidance will help us all navigate the pandemic together.

Written by Lysha R
Badass feminist inspiring you to love yourself and the earth! Profile

10 Replies to “How to Tell if You Have COVID-19 Caused by the Coronavirus”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *