What Can Parents Do
Common steps that help prevent the spread of germs also work well against the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19. It’s always wise to:
- Wash hands well and often. Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid people who appear sick.
- Clean surfaces that get touched a lot .
What Are The Covid Symptoms I Should Act On
The NHS says people should still look out for classic Covid symptoms:
- a new, continuous cough
- a fever/high temperature
- loss of or change to smell or taste
But for some people, having Covid can feel “more like a bad cold” with symptoms such as a headache, sore throat and a runny nose.
The Zoe Covid study app asks hundreds of thousands of people to log their symptoms and investigators have looked at those linked to the dominant Delta variant and the new highly spreadable variant Omicron.
So far, the top five symptoms are:
- runny nose
- sore throat
If you think you may have Covid, it is important to get tested. Even people who don’t feel very ill can put others at risk.
Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria
The present review included human studies that assessed the symptoms of loss of smell and/or taste in patients diagnosed with COVID-19, regardless of laboratory confirmation and other symptoms related to the disease. Studies were excluded if they did not explain in detail the outcomes investigated in the present review or if they did not provide detailed explanation of their methodology. Case-reports, letters to the editor, literature reviews, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and in vitro and animal studies were also excluded. There were no restrictions regarding language or year of publication.
Also Check: Where Are Flu Vaccines Made
What Is Loss Of Taste
Loss of taste is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease , salivary gland infection, , poor dental hygiene, or even certain medicines. The medical term for a complete loss of taste is ageusia. A partial loss of taste is called dysgeusia. Loss of taste is caused by interruption of the transfer of taste sensations to the brain, or by a problem with the way the brain interprets these sensations. Although taste problems are common, complete loss of taste is rare.
Individuals infected with the novel responsible for often experience loss of taste and .
or gastric reflux is a common cause of loss of taste. Stomach acid regurgitated into the mouth produces a loss of normal taste and results in a taste described as acidic or metallic. Another common cause of loss of taste is infection of the mouth or tongue. Similarly, poor dental hygiene causes bacterial growth in the mouth, resulting in a loss of taste. Other mouth or tongue disorders, including , cancer, and damage due to tobacco use, can result in loss of taste.
Loss of taste may also result from radiation therapy and medicines, such as and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Taste problems may take months or even years to resolve. Some loss of taste cases may be permanent, especially if the mouth is a target of direct .
Omicron Appears To Be Producing More Cold And Flu
According to the Cleveland Clinic, night sweats can also be a sign of a cold or the flubut that’s not surprising, given the other symptoms associated with an Omicron infection. Per the UK Zoe COVID Study App, the five most common symptoms for the new variant include a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, and sore throat. Most of these are also signs of both the flu and a cold, according to the CDC.
“A common cold and Omicron is, in my view, impossible to distinguish,”Eskild Petersen, MD, a doctor for Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and chair of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, told The National.
This is why many doctors are pushing people to get tested for COVID if they experience any of these symptoms. Knowing whether or not you have the coronavirus can keep you from spreading it to others, especially those who might be more at risk for severe illness because of their vaccination status or comorbidities. “The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus,” the CDC warns, adding that the agency “expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.”
RELATED: For more health advice delivered straight to your inbox, .
Read Also: Schedule Flu Shot Rite Aid
Doctors Say You Should Get Tested For Covid If You Notice Unusual Sweating At Night
Night sweats are “repeated episodes of extreme perspiration related to an underlying medical condition or illness,” and not just the result of you sleeping under too many blankets or in a room that is too warm, per the Mayo Clinic. Amir Khan, GP, a doctor for the National Health Service in the UK, told The U.S. Sun that people who have this symptom because of COVID are likely to experience “those kind of drenching night sweats where you might have to get up and change your clothes.”
According to Khan, night sweats is a clear sign you should get tested for COVID, especially if you are not prone to sweating profusely at night. “This is important, and it’s important that we keep on top of these symptoms. If we are going to track Omicron and track it worldwide, we need to be able to test people with these symptoms,” he said.
Is It Too Late To Get Vaccinated
When it comes to COVID-19 and the flu, know that it’s not too late to be vaccinated for either or both at the same time.
Both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines take a few weeks to build up an immune response and provide the most protection. So if you haven’t gotten those vaccines yet, getting them now is the best way to be protected in the future.
Don’t Miss: Flu Shot Cause Heart Problems
I Lost My Sense Of Smell: Do I Have Covid
Understanding the differences between common smell loss and COVID-19 symptoms
Do I have COVID-19 or is it something else? This question has probably crossed your mind a time or two or maybe even 20. COVID-19 symptoms can be so similar to other conditions, its not unusual to search your symptoms to see if you need to be tested.
One COVID-19 symptom thats frequently Googled: smell loss.
There are actually a variety of reasons other than COVID-19 why someone may lose their sense of smell, says Bobby Tajudeen, MD, director of rhinology, sinus surgery and skull base surgery at Rush University Medical Center. It can be due to nasal or sinus inflammation, or other viral infections distinct from COVID-19. And it can even occur as a result of some neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimers or dementia , or vitamin deficiencies. Rarely tumors can present with smell loss.
So how do you know if its COVID-19 or something else thats keeping you from enjoying the fragrant scent of your Christmas tree or the aroma of freshly baked holiday treats? And when should you see a specialist for smell loss?
Tajudeen says that while smell loss from congestion or common viral infections and COVID-19-related smell loss may feel the same on the surface, whats happening internally and how the symptoms present themselves is actually very different.
Why Am I Losing My Sense Of Smell
According to Tajudeen, smell loss is most commonly caused by nasal and sinus inflammation. This inflammation can occur due to sinusitis, polyps in the nose and even allergies. It can act as a barrier for smell molecules to enter your nose, meaning you cant physically pick up the smell.
These types of conditions can cause a progressive loss of smell, too. You may notice a gradual decrease in your smelling abilities over a span of several years due to the built-up inflammation in your nose.
This type of smell loss is actually the easiest to treat, Tajudeen explains, because doctors are able to treat the inflammatory condition, enabling you to regain your sense of smell.
Also Check: What Ingredients Are In The Flu Shot
How Long Someone Can Spread The Virus
For both COVID-19 and flu, its possible to spread the virus for at least 1 day before experiencing any symptoms.
If a person has COVID-19, they could be contagious for a longer time than if they had flu.
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 people remain contagious for about 7 days.
Infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for even longer.
How long someone can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 is still under investigation.
Its 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, its possible to remain contagious for at least 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. People who are hospitalized with severe disease and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for 20 days or longer.
/7when Do The Signs Appear
Even though both are viral infections of the upper respiratory system, the speed of transmission of the two viruses differs from each other. Flu symptoms appear sooner and can spread faster than the coronavirus. Those infected with flu typically experience symptoms within 1-4 days, while in the COVID-19 the signs may appear between 1-14 days. However, people with flu and COVID-19 can easily pass on the virus to others before they show any symptoms.
Do You Like To Take Time To Smell The Roses But Lately They Dont Smell As Sweet Several Viruses And Conditions Including Covid
A bouquet of flowers. A home-cooked meal. Milk thats past its best-by date. Our senses of taste and smell help us to detect and catalogue a wide spectrum of flavors and scents. Both can also serve to tell us when somethings not safe to eat. And interestingly, what we perceive as a disruption in our ability to taste may often be rooted in issues related to our sense of smell.
Smell disorders can present different symptoms, including:
- Hyposmia a lessened ability to detect odors
- Anosmia a complete inability to detect odors
- Parosmia a change in the normal perception of scents
- Phantosmia the perception of an odor that is not present
If youre experiencing issues with your ability to taste and smell, here are some of the conditions that may be at the root of these changes.
/7covid Vs Flu: How To Differentiate Between The Two
Both COVID-19 and flu are infections of the upper respiratory symptoms that can spread from one person to the other. Caused by two different types of viruses, both the conditions have overlapping symptoms, making it difficult to differentiate one from the other. It delays the treatment process, which can worsen the symptoms and increase the risk of complications in case of COVID-19. Though it may take some effort, the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 can be differentiated. You just have to look for patterns and study the symptoms precisely. Here we will tell you how coronavirus infection and flu are different from each other.
You May Like: Tylenol Cold And Flu And Cough
When Should You Get Tested
“One of the biggest things is you want to avoid self-diagnosing. That means if you’re displaying any symptoms, you want to go ahead and get tested,” Torres said. And, again, you should assume you have COVID-19 until your test says otherwise.
When you get tested, depending on your symptoms and what your COVID-19 test results are, you might also get tested for the flu or strep throat.
The best home treatments for any of these illnesses depend on the exact symptoms you’re experiencing. Torres shared some advice about over-the-products that can help, but always check with your health care provider first.
- Fever and body aches: Use pain- and fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
- Congestion: For a stuffy nose, use an over-the-counter decongestant like guaifenesin .
- Fatigue: Make sure you stay hydrated, get enough electrolytes and rest up. “Sleep is one of your biggest aids you can use right now that lets your body recuperate and regenerate itself so it can protect you and it keeps your immune system strong,” Torres said.
- Difficulty breathing: If you experience any difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or if your symptoms get worse rather than improving, you should speak with a doctor, Torres said.
Possible Causes Of Smell Loss
COVID-19The loss of smell, with or without changes in taste, related to COVID-19 infection typically occurs without the nasal congestion or runny nose that is typically seen with a cold. Associated symptoms may also include headache, a dry cough, shortness of breath, high fever, stomach problems, and a persistent sore throat. More severe symptoms such as these often point to COVID-19 or the flu. During the pandemic, anyone who has a new loss of smell or taste, even without any of those other symptoms, should be suspected of having COVID-19 and be tested, whether or not they have been previously vaccinated. Polymerase chain reaction testing for COVID-19 can be easily obtained and will identify those patients with COVID-19.
Patients that experience a loss of smell from COVID-19 that does not get better after several months may benefit from, smell retraining therapy. This treatment, which can be done at home by sniffing four different scents twice a day for four to six months, has proven to improve the smell for some, but not all patients. An ENT specialist may advise additional therapies, such as sinus rinses with topical nasal steroids. Parosmia, or altered sense of smell, may occur weeks or months after loss of smell with COVID-19.
Don’t Miss: Will Getting Two Flu Shots Hurt You
Ligia Cristina Monteiro Galindo
dPhenotypic Plasticity and Nutrition Studies Unit, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, PE, Brazil
eGraduate Program in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Phenotypic Plasticity, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Vitória de Santo Antão, PE, Brazil
fDepartament of Anatomy, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, PE, Brazil
Testing For Loss Of Taste Or Smell
To test for a loss of taste at home, a person should try foods with strong seasoning and check whether they can detect any differences between the flavors.
A person can test their sense of smell by choosing two items with strong and contrasting aromas, such as coffee granules and an orange, and smelling them individually to see whether they can detect any differences.
AbScent, a United Kingdom charity for people with smell or taste problems, provide a useful checklist that a person can use to assess and track their smell loss at home. If anyone wants to use the checklist to monitor a loss of taste, they can apply the questions to taste instead.
Doctors use different tests to diagnose a loss of taste and smell. To diagnose a loss of taste, they
- choosing meals with a variety of colors and textures
- using aromatic herbs and spices for stronger flavors
- adding cheese, bacon bits, olive oil, or toasted nuts
- avoiding meals that combine many ingredients, such as casseroles, as these recipes may dull the flavor of each individual food
Some people may benefit from smell training to help their sense of smell return sooner. The training involves smelling four scents for about 20 seconds each per day. Concentrating on each smell could help with recovery. A person could apply this training to taste by choosing different flavors of foods.
People struggling with a loss of taste and smell may also benefit from joining online support groups and forums.
Read Also: When Is The Last Day To Get A Flu Shot
Quality Assessment Of Articles
shows the evaluation of the articles according to the points highlighted by West . Evaluation of quality criteria revealed methodological shortcomings in some articles, including: failure to justify the sample size failure to detail inclusion and exclusion criteria , , , , , , , , ] analysis of individuals who were not tested for COVID-19 , , , ] failure to address the limitations of the study and failure to cite sources of financing, even if these did not exist , , , ]. The level of agreement between reviewers regarding analysis of data extraction and risk of bias was almost perfect .
Should I Call The Doctor
If you have any chronic medical conditions, are over the age of 65, or are not vaccinated, you are at higher risk of getting a severe COVID infection and should call your doctor. Call your doctor for a fever that does not go down with fever reducing medicine or any severe symptoms or symptoms that get worse over time.
You May Like: Alka Seltzer Tablets Cold And Flu
How Often Should I Get A Flu Shot
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older with rare exception.
The reason for this is that a persons immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get the best protection against the flu, said Guste. Also, the flu viruses are constantly changing, so the vaccine makeup is reviewed each year and updated as needed based on which flu viruses are making people sick.