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COVID-19 vs. The Common Chest Cold: Spotting The Difference 

COVID-19 vs. The Common Chest Cold: Spotting The Difference 

With over 13,000,000 cases affecting people around the world, it is easy to see why we might feel paranoid over what could be a common chest cold. Unfortunately, COVID-19 symptoms are very similar to other illnesses. This means that a case of seasonal allergies or a minor cold could cause a panic. There are, fortunately, some differences between COVID-19 symptoms and common chest cold symptoms. 

COVID-19 Symptoms 

Coronavirus has a large variety of symptoms. These symptoms can present in a different variety depending on the person and can range from mild to severe. Coronavirus can cause: 

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Cough
  • Congestion 
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell 
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath

There is no current vaccine for coronavirus. However, doctors have been using a variety of medications and steroids to treat mild and severe cases of coronavirus. Pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen and cough medication have also proved to be useful in COVID-19 treatment. 

Common Chest Cold Symptoms 

Common chest colds happen when the airways of your lungs swell and produce mucus. When you have a common chest cold, you will most likely experience a sore throat, aches, pains, fatigue, a runny nose, chest congestion, a persistent hacking cough, and yellow or green phlegm. Chest colds typically get better within a week or so after fluids and rest. 

Comparison Between Symptoms 

When it comes to having a coronavirus, having a fever or headaches is common. However, with a cold, fever and headaches are rarer. Both COVID-19 and the common chest cold could sometimes involve fatigue. Diarrhea can rarely occur with COVID-19, but does not occur when you have a common chest cold. Having a sore throat or aches and pains is more common with a common chest cold, whereas these symptoms can only sometimes occur with COVID-19. A runny nose is common when with a chest cold, but rarer with COVID-19. A person with coronavirus will not sneeze, but sneezing is common with a chest cold. While both can cause coughing, coronavirus causes a dry cough and can often leave you breathless. The common chest cold will cause a yellow or green phlegmy cough. 


If you have a common chest cold, your symptoms are more likely to be mild and stay mild. The average cold will last 7 to 10 days. If your symptoms worsen or persist after 7 to 10 days, you may want to look into COVID-19 testing. If you are displaying any symptoms related to coronavirus, ensure that you are isolating yourself from others and are wearing a mask. 

COVID-19 Testing Near You 

If you display any symptoms of coronavirus, you may want to consider COVID-19 testing. If you are in the Bay Area and need COVID-19 testing or a consultation to see if you should get a test, BASS Urgent Care can help. After a Telehealth video with you, we will decide if a coronavirus test should be conducted. From there, we will schedule an appointment for you to receive your test. When you test for COVID-19 with BASS Urgent Care, you can remain in the comfort of your own vehicle or enter our CDC compliant facility. BASS Urgent Care understands that this is a stressful time for you, this is why we ensure that this process is easy and quick for you. You will receive your test results within 48-72 hours. To book an appointment, call us at (925) 329-3718 or visit us online.