MOST people know someone who is sick right now, whether it’s just a cough related to COVID-19.

Much of this is to be expected, as respiratory illnesses are common during the winter months when temperatures begin to drop.


It can be difficult to understand the difference between respiratory diseases, here we will look at the main onesAuthor: Getty

Although Covid is not as prominent as it was this time last year, it is still circulating.

Millions already had an error and most Brits also have protection due to huge vaccine distribution.

Current Warp Makes Circles Omicronwas turned out to be softer than others that came before it, for example Delta and Alpha.

Because of this, most of those who have caught the bug have reported symptoms similar to a cold.

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But the number of cases has increased in recent weeks, raising fears of a new winter wave.

on friday official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), revealed that 1.7 million Britons currently have the bug, up from 1.3 million last week.

Last week one in 50 people had this error, now it has increased to one in 35.

Figures from the ZOE team also claim that around 235,829 new cases of the disease are reported daily Corona virus infection covid in Great Britain.

With lateral flow tests no longer free, it can be difficult to know if you have a cold, flu or Covid.

Here’s how to tell the difference.


The easiest way to check for Covid is to get tested.

They are available free of charge to certain groups – such as those at high risk of becoming seriously ill from a bug – for example if you are immunocompromised.

You may also be asked to take a test when you go to the hospital for the procedure.

The latest data from ZOE states that people who catch Omicron show specific symptoms.

Data from the app claims there are 20 symptoms Britons should look out for.

  1. Angina – 63.55%
  2. Runny nose – 53.04%
  3. Headache – 53.02%
  4. Stuffy nose – 52.47%
  5. Cough without sputum – 52.06%
  6. Sneezing – 47.02%
  7. Cough with sputum – 45.79%
  8. Hoarse voice – 43.86%
  9. Muscle pain – 29.46%
  10. Fatigue – 22.97%
  11. Dizziness – 21.11%
  12. Changed smell – 19.82%
  13. Swollen neck glands – 17.72%
  14. Eye morbidity – 16.41%
  15. Chest pain – 16.26%
  16. Dyhaviza – 15.9%
  17. Loss of smell – 14.45%
  18. Earache – 13.96%
  19. Chills or chills – 12.98%
  20. Pain in joints, shoulders – 11.08%

Experts in Center for Disease Control in the US they said one major difference is that you are contagious for longer when you have Covid compared to the flu or a cold.

They said: “On average, people can start spreading the virus that causes Covid-19 2 to 3 days before symptoms appear, but peak infectivity occurs a day before symptoms appear.

“On average, people are considered contagious about eight days after symptoms appear.”


Professor Tim Spector, co-founder of ZOE, said last week that we are likely to be in for a mix of viruses this winter.

“With the increase in colds and rhinovirus, as well as Covid-19 and the possibility of a major seasonal flu epidemic,” he said.

He added that colds caused by rhinovirus are on the rise and are now about five times more common than Covid-19.

If you have a cold, chances are you will get sick ear infections and sinus infections.

However, in general, you may experience:

  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • body aches
  • cough
  • headache

the flu

The symptoms of the flu are very similar to those of a bad cold.

The NHS says it involves suffering high temperature 38C and above.

A high fever used to be a symptom of Covid, but experts say this is less likely with the Omicron strain.

You will also experience body aches and a dry cough.

You may also experience difficulties is sleepingloss of appetite and nausea.

You are less likely to experience this with a cold or the Omicron strain.

So when it comes to spotting the difference between flu and Covid, it should be straight forward.

CDC experts said: “People with an influenza virus infection are potentially contagious for about one day before they develop symptoms. However, it is believed that the flu is mainly spread by people who have symptoms of a viral infection.

“Older children and adults with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days of illness, but some people can remain contagious for somewhat longer periods.

“Babies and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious even longer.”

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But there is a finer line between a cold and Omicron, so any secondary infections such as ear infections should be looked out for.

It’s also important to note that you may have the coronavirus, but you do asymptomatic infection – this means you may not know you have a bug.

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