Assessing Flu & COVID-19 Symptoms

This fall, flu season is not going to be patients’ only concern. With the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, patients will have two similar but very different upper respiratory infections to worry about. Learning the symptoms and key differences between the two will help both patients in Lakewood, Littleton, Golden and the surrounding community as well as your medical provider determine an accurate diagnosis if you begin to exhibit symptoms. In addition to walk-in flu shots and flu treatment, AFC Urgent Care Lakewood is able to perform COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing seven days a week. 

How are the flu and COVID-19 similar?

Both the flu and COVID-19 are viral infections and affect the upper respiratory system. Each virus can range wildly in their symptoms, from little to none through severe. Symptoms that may appear for both illnesses include:

  • Fatigue 

  • Fever and chills

  • Cough

  • Headache

  • Chest and nasal congestion

  • Shortness of breath 

Severe cases of both viruses can result in hospitalization and even death. Making sure you get the correct diagnosis and treatment will help avoid complications and either virus progressing. 

What are the symptoms associated with COVID-19?

Patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have presented with a wide range of symptoms, which can make it difficult to catch. The virus has an incubation period of 2-14 days, during which symptoms may or may not begin to visibly appear. Symptoms associated with COVID-19 include:

  • Sudden loss of the sense of taste and/or smell

  • High fever over 102 F

  • Dry, persistent cough

  • Body chills

  • Head, muscle and full body aches

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Chest and/or nasal congestion

Due to the relative age of COVID-19, the full list of potential symptoms is still being determined. The virus can spread through surface contact, direct contact and community spread. If you have been exposed to someone who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 directly or indirectly, you should visit AFC Urgent Care Lakewood for testing within the next 3-7 days for a more accurate result. If you believe you have been exposed and have tested positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate for at least 10 days until you are no longer contagious. 

Flu symptoms, testing and vaccinations

The flu is spread through a series of influenza viruses, which continue to mutate and evolve as the flu season progresses. Symptoms typically develop suddenly and can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The flu can be detected with a simple rapid test at our on-site laboratory. If you begin to exhibit the following symptoms, you should visit AFC Urgent Care Lakewood for influenza testing, diagnosis and treatment:

  • Fever or chills (not every case of the flu will include a fever)

  • Stuffed and/or runny nose

  • Sore muscles

  • Body and headaches 

  • Fatigue 

  • Diarrhea and vomiting (more common in children)

  • Nausea

  • Congestion

If you begin to develop a fever, you should stay at home until at least 24 hours after the fever breaks. You should also stay home for at least 24 hours with any flu-like symptoms to avoid spreading the virus to people you come into contact with. 

COVID-19 Testing & Flu Shots in Lakewood, Littleton & Golden, CO

If you are unsure if you are developing symptoms of the flu or COVID-19, visit AFC Urgent Care Lakewood today. Our center is open seven days a week and can perform COVID-19 PCR testing and rapid flu testing for walk-in patients during our convenient hours, extending into the evenings and weekends. Most major insurance plans are accepted. For more information about treatments and testing, please call (303) 988-3600.