What Are the Differences Between the Flu and COVID?

Few pandemics have captured the world’s attention and concern like COVID-19. COVID-19 spread quickly, stopping everyday life in its tracks. This disease attacks the respiratory system and other parts of the body, leading to potentially immense pain and other complications.

Many concerned patients experiencing troubling health symptoms aren’t sure whether they have COVID-19 or the flu. Both diseases share symptoms, although there are critical differences to be aware of.

A2Z Diagnostics, Eatontown’s COVID testing facility, is here to explain the differences between the flu and COVID to help you make informed decisions about your health and well-being.

Similarities Between the Flu and COVID-19

The flu and COVID-19 are similar in some respects. Here are a few traits they share.


The flu and COVID-19 often cause the same issues in individuals experiencing either condition. Fever, sore throat, headache, and tiredness are common to both diseases, making it difficult to tell apart, at least in the early stages.

Making matters even more confusing is how common cold symptoms often overlap with signs of COVID and the flu. A medical professional can help you understand the distinctions and recommend the appropriate treatment or recovery regimen.

Many people ask, “Can you have COVID without a fever?” The answer is yes. Likewise, some patients experiencing the flu don’t report having a fever.


Patients with COVID-19 or the flu may experience severe complications like pneumonia, organ failure, and even heart attacks.

Important Differences Between the Flu and COVID

There are many differences between the flu and COVID.

COVID-19 stems from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, while the flu spreads via two different viruses known as influenza A and B. Symptom onset also differs. COVID-19 symptoms take between 2 to 14 days to appear, while flu symptoms tend to manifest much more quickly after exposure.

Finally, COVID-19 is far more likely to cause severe and lasting harm. COVID-19 could cause blood clots throughout the body, and patients with COVID-19 are more likely to require hospitalization. This difference between the flu and COVID is, more than any other, the most important to understand.

Contact A2Z Diagnostics for COVID-19 Testing

A2Z Diagnostics proudly offers COVID-19 testing in Eatontown. We help symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID patients address this troubling condition. Contact us at (732) 542-3200 to learn more about the similarities and differences between flu and COVID-19 or to schedule testing.