(Composite: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)

Flu symptoms: 9 common signs to look out for - and how symptoms differ to Covid

Flu and Covid are both prevalent in the winter months and can cause severe illness in some cases

Friday, 17th September 2021, 3:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 2:25 pm

Flu and Covid-19 are both highly contagious respiratory illnesses which are both capable of causing severe disease.

While Covid-19 spreads more easily and tends to cause more serious illness, flu shares many of the same symptoms, making it difficult to tell them apart.

Coronavirus is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe.

Flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses and is spread in much the same way, through infected droplets in the air.

Symptoms of flu will typically come on very quickly and will usually get better on its own after plenty of rest, where coronavirus can take longer for effects to show. People infected with Covid-19 also tend to be contagious for longer.

It is hoped that Covid-19 booster jabs and the flu vaccination programme will help to keep infections down over the winter when seasonal viruses are more rife.

The government is calling on everyone who has not yet been vaccinated for flu or Covid-19 to come forward if they are eligible.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Getting your winter vaccines – whether that is your flu jab if eligible or your booster jab – is one of the most important things people can do this winter.

“Record numbers of people took up the offer of a free flu vaccine last year and the programme is expanding even further this year, with a record 35 million people in England eligible.

“Don’t delay – all those eligible should book their winter vaccines as soon as possible.”

If you are not sure what symptoms of flu to look for, or how to tell them apart from Covid-19, these are the main signs to be aware of.

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