Telling the Difference between Covid, RSV or the Flu

Telling the Difference between Covid, RSV or the Flu

Cold and Flu season is upon us, naturally we are all spending more time indoors and this inevitably increases chances of getting sick, especially small children.  Many of us are checking daily temperatures, scrambling for out of stock tylenol and loading up on cough and cold medicine.

Respiratory tract infections are infections of the lungs, airways, sinuses or throats. While they can occur year-round, there is a significant increase in these infections during winter months (Cold and Flu season).  It helps to know the common symptoms and how to avoid spreading illness to those around you.  With the increased risk of cases, understanding the difference between respiratory infections and your treatment options is important.

For one, it’s helpful to know that all these conditions are highly contagious respiratory infections caused by viruses. Covid by Sars-CoV-2 virus, RSV by respiratory syncytial virus and the Flu by influenza virus.  To add confusion to the mix, It is also possible for a person to be infected with multiple viruses at the same time. To make it simpler to determine your symptoms, GoodRX Health made a helpful chart that we have added here below as a reference for you, along with the link.


It’s important to keep in mind that children are most susceptible to infections, as their immune systems aren’t fully developed until closer to 7 or 8 years of age. It is also important to call your healthcare professional if you or your child is having difficulty breathing, not drinking enough fluids, or experiencing worsening symptoms.

No matter how many preventative measures we take, it’s impossible to fully prevent our little ones from getting sick.  Still, it’s important to know what their symptoms might be telling you, so you can be more informed when seeking the proper care.

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