Covid symptoms autumn 2022: Is it Covid, a cold or the flu? How to tell the difference if you're suffering with seasonal symptoms

As temperatures drop and winter approaches, people in Wigan are being struck down by a variety of symptoms, but aren’t sure whether they’re suffering from Covid, a cold or the flu.

The most common symptoms of Covid-19 in the early stages of the pandemic were a fever, cough and new loss of taste or smell.

However, a lot of sufferers are reporting a sore throat as one of the first symptoms of the latest Covid strain this autumn.

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Covid-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the strain of coronavirus that first emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.

A sore throat has been reported as one of the main symptoms of Covid this autumn

Influenza (flu) is also a respiratory illness that affects your lungs, but flu is caused by a different kind of virus, instead of a coronavirus. Flu can be dangerous, which is why those with underlying medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes are offered a flu jab at this time of year.

Colds are caused by many different viruses, but most commonly a rhinovirus or a coronavirus. A cold only affects your upper respiratory tract (your nose and throat), not your lungs. Colds usually aren't serious.

Here are the symptoms of all three and how you can tell them apart: The Covid main symptoms are highlighted in bold.

Covid-19

Sore throat – usually (reported by Covid sufferers this autumn)

Cough – usually (dry)

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Muscle aches – usually

Tiredness – usually

Runny or stuffy nose – usually

Fever – usually

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New loss of taste or smell – usually

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing – usually

Diarrhea – sometimes

Nausea or vomiting – sometimes

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Sneezing – rarely

A cold

Cough – usually

Muscle aches – sometimes

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Tiredness – sometimes

Sneezing – sometimes

Sore throat – sometimes

Runny or stuffy nose – usually

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Fever – sometimes

Diarrhea – never

Nausea or vomiting – never

New loss of taste or smell – sometimes (if nose is blocked)

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Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing – rarely

The flu

Cough – usually

Muscle aches – usually

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Tiredness – usually

Sneezing – sometimes

Sore throat – usually

Runny or stuffy nose – usually

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Fever – sometimes

Diarrhea – never

Nausea or vomiting – sometimes

New loss of taste or smell – rarely

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Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing – rarely