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How to distinguish coronavirus from influenza and SARS: a simple table of symptoms has been published

Date: June 5, 2023 Time: 02:00:00

There are several viruses going around this year.

Photo: Maria CUAREMS

Compared to the previous week, the number of flu cases is growing and growing. According to Rospotrebnadzor, their number increased by a third. But the number grows every day. Doctors say: it is very important to immediately find out what exactly you are sick with. Medicines for covid are not the same as medicines for flu, said Anna Popova, director of Rospotrebnadzor, on Radio KP.

Of course, the best advice is to see a doctor, but life is rich. And if you are in a town where doctors do not go, but you do not have the strength to drag yourself? Or just a local “lying” clinic? It would be good to learn to distinguish for yourself which of the seasonal cocktails of viruses he picked up. But then, of course, only qualified help, and without self-treatment.

1. The flu is always sudden.

This year there are several viruses, but the main one is the H1N1 “pig”. It was he who in 2009 caused a pandemic, hitting babies and the elderly.

* A sharp increase in temperature (up to 40C). It can last from 3 to 7 days.

* Pain, muscle aches.

* Weakness, chills.

* Headache.

* Cough, sometimes very strong.

* Rarely other SARS symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, sore throat).

2. SARS: Lots of runny nose out of nowhere.

There are many viral infections, they are caused by different viruses and the symptoms can vary. For example, rhinoviruses cause a severe runny nose, adenoviruses a severe sore throat, and RS viruses cause a cough.

But still, the main symptoms of SARS are similar.

* Usually starts slowly, with a sore throat or mild nasal congestion, cough.

* Sneezing.

* Symptoms increase every day, a small temperature can join (doctors say “subfebrile”), up to 38C.

* Headache, muscle pain: rarely, only if the temperature is high.

3. Respiratory syncytial virus: dangerous for children.

Let’s single out it separately from ARVI, because this year it roamed across America and Europe, and in our virus structure it ranks second after rhinoviruses.

* Always sudden start.

* Low temperature (up to 38C)

* Persistent dry cough, first in the form of a cough, then more and more, often with painful attacks.

* rarely – runny nose, sore throat.

4. The coronavirus is now almost indistinguishable from SARS

Doctors already include it in the picture of seasonal viruses, because the symptoms have become very similar to standard ARVI, they are all mixed up and blurred, that is, you do not understand what torments you more:

* Weakness, headaches.

* Pain in muscles and joints.

* Nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing.

* Sore throat cough.

* Sometimes low temperature (up to 38C).

* Rare: high fever, intense cough, loss of smell and touch.

Photo: Dmitri ORLOV


When to call a doctor

The Ministry of Health issued a memo recommending home treatment if symptoms do not cause concern. But he listed the important ones in which an ambulance call is necessary:

– Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

– Severe body aches, any severe pain or feeling of heaviness in the chest or abdomen.

– Sudden dizziness, confusion.

– Intense or persistent vomiting.

– The “second wave” of the disease, when, after a week and a half, the temperature rose again, the cough intensified. This is a sign of possible complications.


The United States Department of Health has published a rapid diagnosis table. The doctor and blogger Ancha Baranova called it “useless”, but we thought there was a grain of common sense in it. At least it’s simple and clear. We have translated it for you, use it!

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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