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Is it COVID-19 or flu?

There are many similarities between flu, COVID-19 and even the common cold...

Each one can manifest itself differently, with stronger or milder symptoms, depending on the individual.

What are the key symptoms of COVID-19?

The key symptoms of Covid-19 are: 

  • Fever

  • Dry cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Loss of taste and smell

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should self-isolate and visit for information on how to book a test

Additional symptoms of COVID-19

  • Tiredness

  • Aches and pains

  • Nasal congestion

  • Headache

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Sore throat

  • Diarrhoea

  • Rash on skin

  • Discolouration of fingers or toes

  • Loss of appetite

Signs that it might be a cold or the flu

  • If symptoms come on very suddenly, this is more common in flu

  • If you’re sneezing a lot, this is more often seen in the common cold

  • HOWEVER, you should definitely take a COVID-19 test if you exhibit any of the key symptoms, even if you think it’s something else

How to avoid picking up a bug this winter

☑ Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitiser when you’re out and may not have access to hand washing facilities

☑ Wear a face covering – especially in crowded places. Remember to wash your face covering after every use

☑ Eat healthily and get plenty of exercise, to give your body the strongest chance of fighting infection

☑ Get the flu vaccine

☑ Discover more top tips to help you avoid cold and flu this winter

5 reasons to get your flu jab

The flu jab cannot prevent COVID-19, however it's still important. It could potentially be even more important for your health to get your flu jab now than in previous years.

1. Research suggests that contracting flu and coronavirus at the same time could lead you to becoming seriously ill

2. Every year, people are hospitalised due to the flu, with some needing intensive care. If you have your flu jab, you lower your risk and help to reduce pressure on the NHS

3. Some people believe that because they're fit and healthy, they don't need a flu jab. However, getting one can prevent you from passing flu onto more vulnerable people

4. It can help the economy! One study found that in the UK, widespread adoption of flu vaccination could save up to £28.9 million in averted sick day costs

5. No one wants to feel run-down and unwell - you can avoid this by getting your flu jab

Learn more about how to get your flu vaccine from the NHS.