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The original item was published from 9/18/2020 4:37:22 PM to 1/1/2021 12:00:04 AM.

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COVID-19 Media Releases

Posted on: September 19, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Media Release COVID-19 - September 19, 2020

For Immediate Release


Phone: 980-432-1800

Rowan County Case Information:

What is the difference between Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19?

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Since some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many of the same characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.

Signs and Symptoms



Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

COVID-19 may make you experience a change in or loss of taste or smell, which can be a more definite sign that you have this virus.



How long does it take before symptoms appear after exposure?



For both COVID-19 and flu, 1 or more days can pass between when a person becomes infected and when he or she starts to experience illness symptoms.


A person who develops COVID usually sees symptoms 5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection. The time range can vary from person to person.

A person who develops the flu usually sees symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection.

How long can someone spread the virus?



For both COVID-19 and flu, it’s possible to spread the virus for at least 1 day before experiencing any symptoms

It’s possible for people to spread the virus for about 2 days before experiencing signs or symptoms and remain contagious for at least 10 days after signs or symptoms first appeared. If someone is asymptomatic or their symptoms go away, it’s possible to remain contagious for at least 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19.


  • Most people with flu are contagious for about 1 day before they show symptoms.
  • Older children and adults with flu appear to be most contagious during the initial 3-4 days of their illness but many remain contagious for about 7 days.
  • Infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for even longer.


Remember to do your part:

Practice the 3W’s (Wear, Wait, and Wash)

Avoid the 3C’s (Closed spaces, Crowded places, and Close-contact settings)

 Get your flu shot NOW!


TJ Brown

Download Media Release COVID-19 - September 19, 2020 (PDF)

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