If you follow Arkansas Children's on social, you've probably seen the infographic about cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms and treatment. In most cases, the symptoms can be similar and you might think it's a regular cold, but it could be something else. We sat down with Dr. Rebecca Cantu from Arkansas Children's for a Facebook live to discuss this infographic in more detail. 

Cold, RSV, COVID or Flu Graphic

Arkansas Children’s: Let’s break down this cold, flu and COVID-19 infographic. Talk about some of the symptoms and how they can be similar.

Dr. Cantu: There’s a lot of similarity in these different illnesses. They can all have some very common symptoms like fever, headache, coughing. If you’re having any symptoms, whether you think it’s the cold, flu or COVID-19, you need to stay home. You can also call your doctor for advice about getting tested for any or all of these illnesses.

Arkansas Children’s: If someone has a cough or a fever, how long should they stay at home and when should they see a doctor?

Dr. Cantu: It can vary depending on whether or not they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. If you have a cough and someone in your home has tested positive for COVID-19, you may have a longer quarantine. I would recommend keeping in close contact with your doctor. In most cases, you can expect to stay isolated for 10 to 14 days.

Arkansas Children’s: What is the best way to treat a cold or flu?

Dr. Cantu: In most cases, healthy people can be treated symptomatically at home. For a cold, resting, staying hydrated, and taking over the counter meds for a fever will work just fine. For the flu, some people will qualify for Tamiflu, but that’s typically up to your doctor. The same treatment applies to the flu: resting, staying away from people, plenty of hydration and taking care of any symptoms like fevers or achiness.

Arkansas Children’s: Is it possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

Dr. Cantu: Absolutely, you can get a cold, the flu and COVID-19 at the same time! If you have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, it’s very likely to be more severe than either one alone. That’s why it’s so important to get your flu shot. Plus, wear your mask, wash your hands and stay home if you’re sick.

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