Tanner Health System MyChart

  • Home
  • Guess the Symptom: COVID-19, Flu or RSV?

Guess the Symptom: COVID-19, Flu or RSV?

It’s that time of year, for sniffles, sneezes and fevers. But is it the common cold or something more, like COVID-19, the flu or RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)? These viral illnesses all have very common symptoms — can you tell the difference?

Respiratory viruses like COVID-19, flu and RSV can all have these symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Other possible symptoms

Something else COVID-19, the flu and RSV have in common: They don’t need antibiotics. Ask instead about any available antiviral medications.

But can you guess which respiratory illness may also have these symptoms?

  • New loss of taste or smell, without a stuffy nose
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Emergency symptoms such as pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, pale, gray or blue skin or lips

Answer: COVID-19

  • Sudden onset of symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. (More commonly in children.)
  • Fever. (Not in everyone.)
  • Possible pneumonia in young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant people, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease

Answer: Flu

  • Wheezing or rapid breathing
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Most often a concern for young children

Answer: RSV

Now here’s the good news.

All these viral illnesses now have a vaccine available to help keep you from getting sick. That includes RSV — the first-ever RSV vaccine approved in May 2023. Talk to your primary care provider or pharmacist to see if the vaccine may be right for you.

But if you do happen to get sick, all it takes is a quick nasal swab to find out if you have COVID-19, flu or RSV, with results in as little as an hour.

For COVID-19, the first line of testing is a rapid test. However, a PCR test may be used at times. At Tanner Urgent Care in Carrollton you can be swabbed an have your results in one hour.

For flu, many PCR tests, including those at Tanner Urgent Care, can test for flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Other flu-specific tests, such as a rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) or rapid molecular assays are available.

For RSV, healthcare providers use a rapid RSV antigen test or a molecular test. Testing for RSV is more common in young children.

At Tanner Urgent Care in Carrollton, we offer PCR testing with results in one hour.

Need results now? At Tanner Urgent Care, you don’t need an appointment. Just give us a heads up that you’re “On My Way” for even faster treatment. Use the Tanner MyChart app to reserve your spot today.

Tanner Health System, Emergency Care

Comments have been disabled for this post.