How to distinguish coronavirus from influenza and SARS: a simple table of symptoms has been published

There are several viruses going around this year

There are several viruses going around this year

A photo: Maria LENTS

Compared to the previous week, the number of flu cases is growing and growing. According to Rospotrebnadzor, their number increased by a third. But the number is growing every day. Doctors say: it is very important to immediately figure out what exactly you are sick with. Covid medicines are not the same as flu medicinesthe head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova said on Radio KP.

Of course, the best advice is to run to the doctor, but life is rich. And if you are in a village where doctors don’t go, but you don’t have the strength to drag yourself? Or just a local clinic “lay down”? It would be nice learn to distinguish for yourself what you picked up from the seasonal cocktail of viruses. But then, of course, only qualified help – and no self-treatment.

1. The flu is always sudden.

This year, several viruses are walking, but the main one is the “pork” H1N1. It was he who in 2009 provoked a pandemic, hitting babies and the elderly.

* A sharp rise in temperature (up to 40C). May last 3 to 7 days.

* Pain, aching muscles.

* Weakness, chills.

* Headache.

* Cough, sometimes very strong.

* Rarely other symptoms of SARS (runny nose, sneezing, sore throat).

2. SARS – a lot of runny nose out of nothing.

There are a lot of viral infections, they are caused by different viruses, and the symptoms may vary. For example, rhinoviruses cause a severe runny nose, adenoviruses a severe sore throat, and RS viruses cause a cough.

But still, the main symptoms of SARS are similar.

* Usually begins slowly – with a sore throat or mild nasal congestion, coughing.

* Sneezing.

* Symptoms are increasing every day, a small (doctors say “subfebrile”) temperature may join – up to 38C.

* Headache, muscle pain – rarely, only if the temperature is high.

3. Respiratory syncytial virus – dangerous for children.

Let’s single it out separately from ARVI, because this year it roamed in America and Europe, and in our structure of viruses on second place after rhinoviruses.

* Always sudden onset.

* Low temperature (up to 38C)

* Persistent dry cough, first in the form of coughing, then more and more, often with painful attacks.

* Rarely – runny nose, sore throat.

4. Coronavirus is now almost indistinguishable from SARS

Doctors already include it in the picture of seasonal viruses, because the symptoms have become very similar to the standard ARVI, they are all mixed up and blurred, that is, you don’t understand what torments you more:

* Weakness, headaches.

* Aches in muscles and joints.

* Nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing.

* Sore throat, cough.

* Sometimes low (up to 38C) temperature.

* Rare: high fever, severe cough, loss of smell and touch.

A photo: Dmitry ORLOV


When to Call a Doctor

The Ministry of Health issued a memo, in which he recommends being treated at home if the symptoms do not cause concern. But he listed the important ones in which an ambulance call is necessary:

– Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

– Severe body aches, any severe pain or feeling of heaviness in the chest or abdomen.

– Sudden dizziness, confusion.

– Severe or persistent vomiting.

– The “second wave” of the disease, when, after a week and a half, the temperature jumped again, the cough intensified. This is a signal of possible complications.


The US Department of Health has released a rapid diagnostic table. doctor and blogger Ancha Baranova rated it as “useless”, but it seemed to us that there was a grain of common sense in it. At least it’s simple and clear. We have translated it for you, use it!

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