Do I Have the Common Cold or Something Else?

Even in a normal year we might wonder if the runny nose and sneezing we’re experiencing are due to a common cold taking up residence in our bodies or if it’s the unfortunate result of the beautiful blooms that signal Spring has sprung.

This year the COVID-19 virus has come during our traditional flu season. It is important to understand that this virus is not the flu. It has different symptoms and as we are learning, spreads more readily.

The list below shows the most common symptoms for each malady. Other symptoms may occur and there may be crossover between maladies.


Shortness of breath, itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing

Common Cold

Runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, body aches


Fever, dry cough, headaches, sore throat, body aches, fatigue


Shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing is the biggest difference between this and the “regular” flu, which is commonly accompanied by a fever and dry cough.

Remember, even if you are experiencing these symptoms, 80 percent of people that test positive will have mild symptoms. Seek medical assistance if you experience severe difficulty breathing.

Information sourced from CDC, WHO and American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Do I Have the Common Cold or Something Else?

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