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Coronavirus Or A Cold?

Posted by Jamie McKay on September 24, 2020


the image shows a woman wearing a mask checking her temperature on a thermometer

Now that the kids have gone back to school and we head into Autumn, there’s a lot of confusion between the symptoms of normal bugs that everyone gets at this time of year, and the symptoms of coronavirus. So, how do you tell if it is coronavirus or a cold?

Coronavirus Symptoms

According to the UK Government, the three key symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature (37.8C or higher)
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

There are other symptoms that have been reported, but these three remain the symptoms that the UK Government recognise as the most likely for it to be coronavirus.

As we are sure you are aware, two of those symptoms can also be common with colds, winter viruses and ‘flu. To add to the confusion, you don’t have to have all three to have coronavirus either. It's getting complicated, isn’t it?

The BBC has put together this short video that may help to clarify if you have coronavirus or a cold:

There are other symptoms (below) that have been reported as valid coronavirus symptoms by the World Health Organisation (WHO), but so far, the UK Government are sticking with the three we mentioned above.

WHO Most common symptoms:

dry cough

    WHO Less common symptoms:

    aches and pains
    sore throat
    loss of taste or smell
    a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

      WHO Serious symptoms:

      difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
      chest pain or pressure
      loss of speech or movement

        It is important to remember that If you have concerns about the severity of any symptoms for you or anyone you live with, then please contact your GP (by phone) first, as soon as possible.

        Sneezing And Runny Noses

        The one symptom that does not appear to a be common for coronavirus, is sneezing and runny noses, which is good, as that is the main symptom of having a cold!

        So, if you only have a runny nose, with no other symptoms, it is quite likely you only have a cold.

        Where the difficulty lies is that quite often, colds have more than one symptom!

        As it stands, at the moment, if you have a runny nose AND a cough, that could be coronavirus.

        Get A Test Or Stay At Home

        If you or anyone you live or work with has any of the three main symptoms, then you should stay at home for 14 days or until you get a test.

        That is the theory anyway, in reality getting a test has become increasingly difficult as the system doesn’t appear to be able to cope with the demand.

        The combination of children going back to school in September when there are always cough and colds doing the rounds, and those same viruses sharing symptoms with the coronavirus, has seen children sent home with coughs, in droves.

        Then worried parents, who have only just been told it is okay to go back to work, are faced with the prospect of having to stay at home with their children for 14 days.

        So, they try and get a coronavirus test in the hope that it comes back negative and everything can go back to ‘normal’ in just a couple of days.

        Unfortunately, until and if the testing system gets back on its feet again, there are going to be many thousands of people having to isolate for 14 days as the test is the only definitive way of finding out if it is coronavirus or a cold.

        The Coronavirus Or A Cold Chart

        We have put together this easy to follow chart that could act as a guide for you if you are not sure if it is coronavirus or a cold. As we said earlier, we are basing our advice on instructions issued by the Government and that may change at any time. 

        If it does, we will be sure to let you know!

        the image shows a covid or cold symptoms chart

        Wash Your Hands And Wear A Mask!

        One piece of advice that does not differ between Governments across the world, is washing hands and keeping clean. As the number of coronavirus cases in the UK is going up incredibly fast, now more than ever, it is important to ensure you have a supply of soaps, hand sanitisers and masks.

        As we are heading towards more restrictions, possibly even a future lockdown, there may well be a shortage in supplies of hand sanitisers and other PPE equipment just like there was in March.

        In that case it would be a good idea to have a look at our extensive range of PPE and get some delivered to your door. You can browse the full range of PPE here.

        We also have a range of PPE bundles, so you can choose one bundle instead of having to choose several different products.

        We hope that we have helped answer the question that everyone is asking, is it Coronavirus or a Cold?

        Stay safe.