With so many illnesses going around how do you know if it is COVID, the Flu, or R.S.V.?  Many symptoms overlap but there are some signs that will indicate which illness you have.

Main Symptoms:


Cough, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, and a sore throat.


Cough, fatigue, high fever, headaches, muscle pain or body aches.


Cough, difficulty-breathing, fatigue, headaches, sore throat.

R.S.V. (respiratory syncytial virus):

Cough, runny or stuffy nose, wheezing.

How quickly the symptoms hit is another indication of which virus you may have.  Symptoms of the flu come on fast, usually one day after exposure to the virus and it often feels like you have been “hit by a truck”.   For colds, the symptoms may take two to three days and are much milder than a flu.  COVID-19 and RSV take longer to show up. It can take up to five days from exposure and the symptoms build up slowly.

To help rule out COVID-19, you can use a free COVID-19 test available at pharmacies.  Unfortunately, the only test for the flu or RSV are through a doctor’s office.

Adults over the age of 65 are more vulnerable as the immune system weakens as we age.  Older adults are more likely to have medical conditions that leave them at great risk of illnesses.   Young children are also more vulnerable as their immune system is not fully developed.  As well, they are exposed to more chances of getting the virus through schools.

No matter what the virus, here are a few things you can do to help elevate the symptoms.

  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Use a humidifier
  • Talk to you doctor about any over the counter medications that may help relieve symptoms.