Some diseases show common symptoms

Coronavirus infection: symptoms and course of the disease

Both COVID-19 and common colds and the flu are primarily contagious respiratory infections. However, they are caused by different viruses. Many different viruses, such as rhinoviruses, cause colds. Influenza viruses are responsible for the flu. COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Signs of illness one cold ("Sniffles") are primarily impaired nasal breathing as well as cough and occasionally sore throat, it can also lead to a slight fever. As a rule, complications do not arise.

Typical for the flu (Influenza) is a sudden onset of illness with fever, cough and sore throat, accompanied by headache and body aches and usually a severe feeling of illness. Other symptoms of the flu can include general weakness, sweating, runny nose, and rarely nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. However, only a third of the people infected with influenza viruses show the typical febrile course of the disease. Another third have easier flu progress and a third do not develop any symptoms.

The most common complications are pneumonia. Middle ear infections can also develop in children. Inflammation of the brain or the heart muscle can rarely occur (see also pathogen profile and questions and answers about the flu).

Although the symptoms of COVID-19 can have some peculiarities, they are usually not easy to distinguish from those of other respiratory infections such as the common cold or flu. Therefore, COVID-19 cannot be determined based on symptoms alone. It is therefore important that you suspect an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus should be clarified by a doctor and, if necessary, tested.