Does Your Child Have the Flu or COVID-19?
As some states begin to reopen schools this fall, children may bring home more than their homework. Despite our best efforts to protect children, they are still at risk for illnesses, such as the flu and COVID-19. Although the flu and COVID-19 share some symptoms and spread in similar ways, researchers are only starting to learn the differences between the two among children. The chart below shows some of the most frequently reported symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 to look out for when trying to determine the best care for your child.
|Both Flu and COVID-19||COVID-19||Flu|
|Fever/chills||Symptoms typically appear 5 days after infection, but can be as soon as 2 days and as long as 14 days||Symptoms typically appear 1-4 days after infection|
|Headache||Loss of taste||Fever/cough appears to improve then worsens*|
|Cough||Loss of smell||Chest pain*|
|Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath*||Inability to stay awake*||Severe dehydration*|
|Fatigue||Loss of appetite||104°F or above fever*|
|Sore throat||Nasal congestion||Severe muscle pain*|
|Runny or stuffy nose||Confusion*||Ear pain|
|Muscle pain or body aches||Constant chest pain or pressure*||Worsening of chronic conditions*|
|Diarrhea or vomiting||Children with severe cases may develop respiratory failure, myocarditis, shock, acute renal failure, coagulopathy, multisystem organ failure or multisystem inflammatory syndrome.*|
The flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses, and the difference can be undetectable by symptoms alone. Seek a test to confirm a diagnosis. Please don’t delay care.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention