COVID=19 is somewhere in the mind of each person. A random cough and you think. "Do I have it?" A little information may ease some minds. Keep in mind that this is only a few facts. To determine conclusively you will need to see a doctor and have a reliable test.
A cough is usually a symptom of a cold, the flu, or the corona virus. I looked at all three to know what to watch for if the need should arise. I am not suffering from any of the three.
It is an upper respiratory infection. It affects the nose, throat sinuses, and windpipe. It is spread by contact with another person with a cold and through droplets in the air from a person with a cold.
The three main causes of the common cold are rhinovirus, coronavirus (not THE coronavirus), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and parainfluenza. There are other causes but these are the prevalent ones.
The symptoms of a cold are: cough, sore throat, sneezing, and a runny nose.
Cold symptoms usually start 2 or 3 days after a person has been exposed to the virus. People with colds are most contagious for the first 3 or 4 days after the symptoms begin and can be contagious for up to 3 weeks. Although some colds can linger for as long as 2 weeks, most clear up within a week.
Treatments for a cold include: drinking lots of fluids to stay hydrated (include water, juice, clear broth, warm water with honey and/or lemon), rest (stay in bed if possible), if your throat is sore soothe it, work to not stiffen up, relieve any pain or soreness, and moisturize the air. In most cases antibiotics do nothing to alleviate a cold.
Influenza or the flu.
The flu is caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. These viruses spread when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk, sending droplets with the virus into the air and potentially into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Stomach flu viruses cause diarrhea and vomiting.
The most common symptoms of flu are: fever, aching muscles, chills and sweats, headache, dry and persistent cough, shortness of breath, tiredness and weakness, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, eye pain, and vomiting or diarrhea, The vomiting and diarrhea are more common in children.
Most of the time flu can be treated at home. If you have the following symptoms call your doctor or go to the hospital: Difficulty breathing, chest pain, ongoing dizziness, any pre-existing conditions that get worse, and severe weakness or muscle pain.
Dangerous symptoms for children requiring medical assistance are: difficulty breathing, blue lips, chest pains, dehydration, seizures, worsening of pre-existing medical conditions.
Some fairly common complications are: pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma flare-ups, heart problems, ear infections, and acute respiratory distress.
The best way to treat the flu is to get your flu shot before you get the flu.
COVID-19 and the flu share symptoms. It makes it hard for a definitive diagnosis. A doctor will recommend a test to be sure. You can even have both at the same time.
There are some differences. They are caused bu different viruses. COVID symptoms appear about one to fourteen days after exposure. Flu symptoms appear one to four days after exposure. COVID sufferers often experience a loss of taste or smell. COVID seems to be more contagious and to spread more quickly than the flu. Severe injury to the lungs is more frequent. The mortality rate is higher for COVID.
Blood clots are a complication for COVID. In children COVID has caused multisystem inflammatory syndrome.
The flu an be treated with antiviral drugs. So far no drugs have been approved for the treatment of COVID.
To prevent catching any of the three diseases there are things you can do. Wash your hands thoroughly several times a day for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. Hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available. Cover you mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Disinfect doorknobs, electronics, light switches, and counters and tables daily.
Additional precautions for COVID include avoiding large gatherings, avoid close contact with other people, and wear a face mask when you must be out in public.
I hope this helps.