COVID-19 Symptoms vs Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies, Cold and Flu

Rarely has the world seen a global crisis of this nature where a disease has gone the length and breadth of the earth and forced countries to go into a lockdown. The rapid progression and spread of this disease have instilled panic and fear in people. As a result of this fear, people are misunderstanding certain conditions or illnesses to be symptoms of COVID-19. We understand that there are some symptoms that may appear similar hence we want to clarify that for you. We want you to be well informed.

Make a note of the symptoms in case you experience them so that it’s easier for you to inform your doctor about it.

Symptoms Corona Virus COVID-19 Symptoms range from mild to severe Seasonal Allergies Abrupt onset of symptoms Cold Gradual onset of symptoms Flu Abrupt onset of symptoms
Length of symptoms Length of symptoms
7-25 days Several weeks Less than 14 days 7-14 days
Cough Cough
Common (usually dry) Rare (usually dry unless it triggers asthma) Common (mild) Common (usually dry)
Shortness of breath Shortness of breath
Sometimes No ** No ** No **
Sneezing Sneezing
No Common Common No
Runny or stuffy nose Runny or stuffy nose
Rare Common Common Sometimes
Sore throat Sore throat
Sometimes Sometimes (usually mild) Sometimes Sometimes
Fever Fever
Common No Short fever period Common
Feeling tired and weak Feeling tired and weak
Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes Common
Headaches Headaches
Sometimes Sometimes (related to sinus pain) Rare Common
Body aches and pains Body aches and pains
Sometimes No Common Common
Diarrhoea Diarrhoea
Sometimes No No Sometimes for children
**Allergies, colds and flus can all trigger asthma, which can lead to shortness of breath. COVID-19 is the only one associated with shortness of breath on its own.
WHO Table

The table is subject to update once newer data on COVID-19 is established.

know more about allergies
Know Symptoms of Seasonal allergies, COVID -19, Cold and Flu


  1. World Health Organisation
  2. Asthma and allergy foundation of America
  3. Centers for disease control and prevention