Is it COVID-19 or the flu? Only a test can tell for sure

This year, flu season, allergy season and the COVID-19 pandemic are all colliding. Since the flu and COVID-19 are both types of respiratory viruses, they present with very similar symptoms. And seasonal allergies can have some of the same manifestations, as well. Only a test can determine if you have one of these viruses or if you can rule them out.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, isolate yourself from others until you're able to speak with a doctor and get tested. Learn more about COVID-19 testing at the University of Chicago Medicine.

  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Sore throat

Wearing a mask outside your home, washing your hands and cleaning surfaces frequently, and maintaining a safe social distance from everyone outside your household can also help stop the spread of COVID-19 and the flu.

Learn more about the "twindemic."

Maggie Collison, MD

Maggie Collison, MD

Maggie Collison, MD, specializes in infectious diseases.

Learn more about Dr. Collison