RSV, flu and COVID-19: How can you tell the difference? Here’s when to see a doctor, stay home amid tripledemic warnings

RSV, flu and COVID-19: How can you tell the difference? Here's when to see a doctor, stay home amid tripledemic warnings

RSV, flu and COVID-19: How will you inform the distinction? This is when to see a health care provider, keep dwelling amid tripledemic warnings

SAN FRANCISCO– Medical doctors are seeing a number of totally different viruses circulating locally at elevated charges.

The triple menace — or “tripledemic” — of influenza (flu), COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have most of the identical signs in widespread, and it is onerous to inform which one you have caught.

We spoke to Dr. David Hoffman, a pediatric hospitalist at MarinHealth Medical Middle, to share his ideas on the way to inform them aside and when it is best to and should not be involved.

“Whereas it is unimaginable to know for certain which of those viruses you have got with out testing, there are distinctive signs for every virus,” Dr. Hoffman mentioned.

Listed below are some signs of every and a information to what to do if you happen to or a member of the family turns into unwell.



Influenza normally comes on very all of a sudden with an incubation interval of 1 to 4 days, not like COVID-19, which tends to have a gradual onset of signs. Typically, individuals really feel extra depressing with the flu than with different forms of virus, and that is typically accompanied by a sore throat, nausea, physique aches, vomiting, and even diarrhea. An indicator of the flu could be a very excessive fever – as excessive as 103 or 104 Fahrenheit. Fever is simply the physique’s approach of preventing an infection and isn’t harmful by itself.

CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky mentioned: “Flu hospitalizations proceed to be the best we have seen at the moment of yr in a decade. If you happen to get sick, report back to your supplier. early care. There are good antivirals to deal with each flu and COVID-19.”

The CDC is once more suggesting that folks voluntarily put on masks indoors to scale back their danger of getting sick within the coming weeks.

It isn’t too late to get each vaccines – specialists say you begin being protected inside every week with a booster.

Distinctive characteristic

Essentially the most distinctive signal of the flu could be a very excessive fever between 103 and 104.

Flu signs embody:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Runny nostril
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of urge for food
  • Sore throat



“Coronavirus has turn into acquainted to most of us, and the indicators are much like the flu and RSV. To complicate issues additional, some individuals turn into very unwell, whereas others have very gentle signs. , and others haven’t any signs. Whereas most individuals develop signs throughout the first week after publicity, signs can happen two to 14 days after publicity to the virus.”

Distinctive characteristic

“In contrast to different viruses, COVID-19 can have an effect on different areas of the physique exterior of the lungs and in some circumstances have long-term results,” says Dr. Hoffman.

Signs of COVID-19 embody:

  • Cough
  • Temporary fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Belly ache
  • Lack of style or scent
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle or physique ache
  • Headache



RSV is a virus that many adults would have already caught and it normally solely causes chilly signs in adults. “If you happen to assume again to that chilly you had that simply would not go away, you saved having congestion and perhaps a cough that lasted longer than normal, likelihood is that it is RSV. And once more, flu signs can embody fever, chills, headache, runny or stuffy nostril, nausea, fatigue, lack of urge for food, and sore throat,” Dr. Hoffman mentioned. .

RSV causes a runny nostril, congestion, and cough in most individuals. Based on Dr. Hoffman, RSV is extra more likely to trigger critical sickness in very younger kids, particularly these born prematurely or who’ve lung or coronary heart illness. Essentially the most distinctive symptom that some kids contaminated with RSV will exhibit is wheezing. Wheezing is a high-pitched sound with every exhalation.

“For most individuals, and even most kids, RSV doesn’t trigger harmful sickness. Nevertheless it does in a subset of kids. Even kids with critical sickness requiring hospitalization will normally just do effective low oxygen perhaps they only should be watched intently RSV is almost certainly to trigger vital illness or, you realize, extra critical sickness in very younger kids and really outdated adults,” Dr. Hoffman mentioned.

Distinctive symptom

Essentially the most distinctive symptom that some kids contaminated with RSV will exhibit is wheezing, a high-pitched sound, with every exhalation.

RSV signs embody:

  • Runny nostril
  • Decreased urge for food
  • To cough
  • To sneeze
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

When to seek the advice of a health care provider

Dr. Hoffman recommends searching for fast medical consideration if these signs seem:

  • Issue respiratory
  • Chest ache or stress
  • New confusion
  • Incapability to wake or keep awake
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Intense belly ache
  • Refuse to eat and drink

When ought to I hold my baby at dwelling?

In case your baby has signs of RSV, the flu, or COVID-19, well being specialists advise you to maintain your baby dwelling to keep away from spreading the virus to others. It would not matter which of the viruses is the wrongdoer. Precautions ought to be taken to keep away from the unfold.

Prevention: the way to stop your baby from getting sick

Prevention is the very best drugs, particularly with these viruses. These strategies are good concepts for avoiding seasonal viruses:

  • Get your baby vaccinated in opposition to influenza, COVID-19, pneumococcus and whooping cough.
  • Wash your palms commonly or use hand sanitizer.
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces, akin to desks, tables, and doorknobs, if somebody in your family is sick.
  • In case your baby is sick, ask him to remain dwelling to keep away from spreading the illness.

“Everybody talks about RSV, however we additionally see different viruses locally, like metapneumovirus, which may trigger bronchitis or a major respiratory an infection, or viral pneumonia. There are literally thousands of viruses that we do not have assessments, so we do not have ‘I do not know precisely what virus it’s, however we’re positively seeing many various respiratory infections extra,’ Dr Hoffman mentioned.

He says crucial message he desires to convey to folks is you could harm your self much more by being too frightened.

“By being anxious and rising stress, you due to this fact make your self extra weak to all forms of sicknesses, power sicknesses and infections,” says Dr. Hoffman.

“Having mentioned that, I feel everybody ought to do all the things they’ll to guard themselves from all respiratory sicknesses and different vaccine-preventable illnesses. unborn baby and shield themselves by stopping themselves from contracting whooping cough,” he says.

Likewise, he urged kids to get vaccinated in opposition to pneumococcus (whooping cough).

“Get your COVID-19 and flu shot for youngsters and adults. The flu shot could make you are feeling like you have got a really gentle chilly, however it’s significantly better than falling severely unwell and even die from the flu. So many individuals select to not get the flu shot as a result of they do not prefer it. However in actuality, the advantages far outweigh the very small dangers to get a flu shot or the inconvenience of getting a flu shot,” Dr. Hoffman mentioned.

“I do not assume it is a good suggestion to hurry to your pediatrician or your main care supplier simply to get examined, to strive to determine which of those medicine you have got, aside from perhaps getting some COVID assessments. -19 as a result of most individuals who get RSV, the flu, and COVID-19 will probably be effective. And so it is actually nearly dictating whether or not or not you need to strictly self-isolate and for a way lengthy,” he mentioned.

The factor is, these respiratory viruses have a tendency to point out up with comparable signs, akin to cough, runny nostril, and fever. Thankfully for most kids, it would not matter which of those viruses, or the 1000’s of different viruses that trigger respiratory sicknesses or colds, your baby has. Most youngsters will recuperate from all of those viruses on their very own, with out receiving medical remedy and with out critical issues. In case your baby is sick, think about testing for COVID-19 first to seek out out if and the way lengthy it is best to isolate your baby at dwelling.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved.


Back to list

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *