COVID, FLU, RSV OH MY! WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Staying sane in a world where RSV, the Flu, and COVID-19 are present can be a bit difficult when it feels like these three viruses are just lurking around waiting to strike. The biggest question that has been on everyone’s mind is, what is the difference between all three of these very dangerous viruses? In this blog, we discuss the similarities and differences between these respiratory infections and what we can be doing to prevent catching and transmitting them to others. Keep reading to learn more.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE THREE VIRUSES? 

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The biggest similarity between the FLU, COVID-19, and RSV, is that they all happen to be contagious repository viruses that spread via airborne droplets. Though they do also cause very similar symptoms, there are three major differences between these infections. Let’s talk about them. 

  1. Individuals infected with COVID-19 may not experience any symptoms at all or may gradually start experiencing fever, cough, congestion, and loss of taste and smell. With COVID-19, these symptoms can last between seven and 28 days. Neither RSV nor FLU typically causes loss of taste or smell.
  2. Those with RSV usually experience minor symptoms similar to those from a common cold. Though most dangerous in infants and elderly individuals, RSV tends to run its course with mild intensity in 1 to 2 weeks.
  3. While it may take longer for those infected with COVID-19 to show symptoms, Individuals who contact the FLU typically experience symptoms right away. Similar to COVID-19, patients often experience fever, cough, and a sore throat among other symptoms which typically last 5 to 7 days.[1]

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

Not every individual that is exposed to COVID-19 experiences the same symptoms as one another. Symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure. Symptoms include: 

  • Body Aches
  • Loss of taste and/or smell 
  • fever/chills 
  • Headache 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestion 
  • Abdominal pain
  • nausea/vomiting 

Loss of taste and smell is unique to COVID-19 and is not seen in other viruses. This can be a big indicator when assessing which of these three diseases you have contracted.[2]

INFLUENZA SYMPTOMS

Influenza (FLU) can cause mild to severe illness. Common symptoms include: 

  • Sore throat 
  • Cough 
  • fever/chills
  • Runny or stuffy nose 
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea 
  • Headaches 

The good news is that we have the FLU vaccine available which can protect individuals from severe infections. [3]

RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS (RSV) SYMPTOMS

Though anyone can be infected with RSV, it is most common among young children and older adults. Symptoms of RSV include: 

  • Trouble breathing 
  • Decrease in appetite 
  • Runny nose 
  • Fever 
  • Sneezing 
  • Cough [4]

HOW DO I PREVENT THE FLU, RSV, AND COVID-19?

The most impactful way to prevent contracting The FLU, RSV, or COVID-19 is to get vaccinated! Centex studies is currently enrolling individuals for RSV and COVID-19 vaccine studies. We understand that clinical research is not for everyone. There are many locations that also provide free flu and COVID-19 vaccines at this time. Check with your primary care provider, Pharmacies, local grocery stores for more information. 

Participating in proper hygiene such as washing your hands frequently and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces can also reduce your risk of infection with RSV, COVID-19, and the FLU.

LEARN MORE ABOUT VACCINATION TRIALS TODAY!

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Centex Studies has COVID-19 and RSV vaccine studies enrolling in South HoustonNorth Houston, and Lake Charles. Those who volunteer will receive access to treatment or a placebo at no cost. The best part is, no insurance is required, and each volunteer who qualifies and participates is eligible for compensation. Learn more by visiting our website.  

For individuals interested in participation that are not near one of our locations, we have partnering sites now enrolling participants for RSV vaccine studies in San Diego, CA, Riverside, CA, Scottsdale, AZ, and Orlando, FL.

References:

  1. https://www.labcorp.com/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-news-education/covid-19-vs-flu-vs-rsv-how-tell-difference
  2.  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/symptoms.htm
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/about/symptoms.html

 

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