The flu and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses that can present many of the same symptoms, but they are caused by different viruses. Most people who become infected by either an influenza virus or SARS-CoV-2, which is the new coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19, will recover without the need for intensive medical intervention. However, both types of infections can lead to serious complications and even death. Therefore, it’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms that are associated with these illnesses, and lab testing is the only reliable way to identify the cause of your illness.
If you’re in the Clarkston, Michigan, area, you can turn to Springfield Urgent Care for both flu and coronavirus testing. We have urgent care clinics in Clarkston and Highland, and we’re open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
In the meantime, here are a few of the similarities and differences between the flu and COVID-19:
Both viruses are spread mostly through person-to-person interaction when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks in close proximity (within about 6 feet) of another person. Touching virus-contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth may also lead to infection. Some of the symptoms that characterize both illnesses include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches and fatigue
- Runny or stuffy nose
Although both the flu and COVID-19 are considered highly contagious and potentially life-threatening, experts say COVID-19 is more easily spread and more likely to lead to hospitalization in certain at-risk populations. According to World Health Organization estimates, there have been well over a million coronavirus deaths worldwide compared with 290,000 to 650,000 flu-related deaths reported each year.
Another difference between the illnesses is that some people with COVID-19 have reported loss of taste and smell, which is not commonly associated with the flu.
And one of the most important differences is that treatments and vaccines have been developed for the flu—and they’re available at Springfield Urgent Care—but treatment options are far more limited for COVID-19 and no vaccine is available for widespread distribution.
At Springfield Urgent Care, we’re here to help. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one has contracted the flu or COVID-19, contact us today or use our convenient online check-in service to reserve your spot in line before you visit either our Clarkston or Highland location. If you’re experiencing a fever or coughing, please call (248) 942-5888 from the parking lot when you arrive, and we will let you know how to proceed.