Covid-19 vs Cold

Posted October 7, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 1 min read

COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory disease caused by infection with the virus SARS-CoV-2. It usually spreads between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet, or 2 meters). The virus spreads through respiratory droplets released when someone breathes, coughs, sneezes, talks or sings.

Differences between Covid-19 and Cold

  • Both COVID-19 and the common cold are caused by viruses.

  • COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, while the common cold is most often caused by rhinoviruses.

  • These viruses spread in similar ways and cause many of the same signs and symptoms.

  • While COVID-19 symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2, symptoms of a common cold usually appear one to three days after exposure to a cold-causing virus.

  • There’s no cure for the common cold.

  • Treatment may include pain relievers and over-the-counter cold remedies, such as decongestants.

  • Unlike COVID-19, a cold is usually harmless.

  • Most people recover from a common cold in three to 10 days, although some colds may last as long as two or three weeks.

Symptoms check

Symptom or signCOVID-19Cold
CoughUsually seen (dry)Usually seen
Muscle achesUsually seenObserved Sometimes
TirednessUsually seenObserved Sometimes
SneezingRarely observedObserved Sometimes
Sore throatUsually seenUsually seen
Runny or stuffy noseUsually seenUsually seen
FeverUsually seenObserved Sometimes
DiarrheaObserved SometimesNever
Nausea or vomitingObserved SometimesNever
New loss of taste or smellUsually (early — often without a runny or stuffy nose)Sometimes (especially with a stuffy nose)
covid-19 cold differences

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