Coronavirus vs. cold: Is my ‘scratchy throat’ COVID-19 or a result of changing weather? | The Times of India


Change in weather is one of the most ideal times for viruses and bacteria to thrive. Probably why we experience discomfort and feel under the weather during a shift in temperatures.

COVID-19 symptoms and cold symptoms may be similar to one another since both are respiratory illnesses. But the two may differ on the grounds of severity. Every new COVID variant has managed to surprise us with its unique capacities. While the Delta was efficient at directly affecting the lungs causing severe symptoms, the Omicron was more mild and led to symptoms associated with the upper respiratory tract.

When it comes to differentiating between COVID and cold, besides severity, we can also keep a check on the incubation period. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that incubation time for COVID-19 ranges from 1-14 days, most commonly being around 5 days. For Omicron, experts say it’s shorter i.e. 3 days. However, for a normal cold, it is typically between 1 and 3 days.

Additionally, a COVID-induced scratchy throat may be accompanied by other prominent symptoms including fever, cough, fatigue, body pain, gastrointestinal symptoms and loss of smell and taste, which are uncommon with a common cold, explain researchers at PubMed Central. Cold symptoms may appear gradually with sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose as early signs.

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