Flu season is a stressful time every year for parents. Children with the flu can spread it to each other and to parents. Thankfully, the flu vaccine helps minimize the spread and the effects of the flu. This year, though, COVID-19 gives parents another reason to. When it comes to symptoms, things can get a little tricky because the two viruses often present similarly.
If your child is having symptoms of either, we urge you to take him/her to a pediatrician. Pediatric Partners of Augusta has three locations, including an after-hours clinic, to serve the needs of area children. Keep reading to find out more about the symptoms of children with flu and COVID that you should watch out for.
Dr. Lisa Maragakis, M.P.H., is the senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins. She helps us break down some of the similarities – and differences – when it comes to COVID vs flu symptoms.
Similar Symptoms of Flu & COVID
- Both illnesses can cause fever, cough, body aches and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea (especially in children).
- Both can result in pneumonia.
- Both can be mild or severe, or even fatal in rare cases.
Differences in Symptoms
- Many people infected with the coronavirus do not feel sick or have symptoms at all, but they still can transmit the coronavirus to other people.
- COVID-19 can sometimes cause a person to suddenly lose the sense of smell or taste. This is not a symptom of the flu.
Both can be prevented by wearing a mask, frequently and thoroughly washing hands, coughing into the crook of your elbow, staying home when sick and limiting contact with people who are infected. Physical distancing limits the spread of COVID-19 in communities.
It can be difficult to tell the difference in flu symptoms and COVID symptoms. Either way, children with COVID or the flu are seriously ill and need to be treated by their pediatrician. As of right now, there is no COVID vaccine, but we certainly urge parents to get the flu vaccine for themselves and their children.
Pediatric Partners has three locations to better serve our patients. The Evans office is at 411 Town Park Blvd.; the downtown Augusta office is at 1303 D’Antignac Street, Suite 2600; and the new Grovetown office is at 5135 Wrightsboro Road. For more information about Pediatric Partners, call the office at 706-854-2500, visit PedPartners.com, or follow the Pediatric Partners of Augusta Facebook page.