Baptist Health Urgent Care on Knowing the Symptoms: Is It a Cold, Flu, Allergies or COVID-19?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Many ailments such as a cold, allergies, flu and COVID-19 share similar symptoms. Under ordinary circumstances, people struggle to decide if they should call a health provider when they or other family members feel sick. But COVID-19 has complicated the situation this year.

Some common signs a person has become ill include sore throat, cough, fever, fatigue, runny nose, aches and pains, and an upset stomach—in a variety of combinations. Causes include environmental irritants such as allergens or infections, often from bacteria or viruses.

COVID-19 shares some initial similar symptoms with other common respiratory infections. Although our understanding of COVID-19 continues to expand, the following chart shows the breakdown of typical symptoms by type of ailment.


Symptoms begin within 14 days of exposure.


Length of symptoms varies, but often 10 days or more.

Symptoms begin abruptly.


Symptoms last 5-7 days.

Symptoms begin gradually.


Symptoms last 3-10 days.

Symptoms begin gradually.


Symptoms are seasonal.

Body aches Sometimes Yes Yes No
Chills Sometimes Yes Less Common No
Dry Cough Yes Yes Sometimes Yes
Exposure to germs Yes Yes Yes No


Yes Yes Sometimes Sometimes
Fever Yes Yes Less Common No
Headaches Sometimes Yes Yes Yes
Itchy eyes No No No Yes
Nasal Congestion/ Runny Nose Less Common Yes Yes Yes


Sometimes Less Common Less Common Less Common
Sneezing Sometimes Sometimes Yes Yes
Sore throat Sometimes Sometimes Yes Sometimes
Shortness of breath Yes Yes Less Common Sometimes
Loss of taste or smell Yes Sometimes Sometimes Less Common


Baptist Health Urgent Care centers provide testing for both flu and COVID-19. Flu shots are also available. Walk-ins are welcome or for added convenience, schedule a same or next day visit online with Hold My Spot®. Most insurance plans, TRICARE and VA, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as cash and credit cards, are accepted.  For more information about flu, testing or to find a center near you, visit


About Baptist Health Urgent Care

Baptist Health Urgent Care, with eight locations in Arkansas, is an affiliate of Urgent Team Family of Urgent Care & Walk-in Centers, one of the largest independent operators of urgent and family care centers in the Southeast. The Urgent Team Family of Centers provides quality and affordable family healthcare at 62 locations under six brands: Baptist Health Urgent Care, Sherwood Urgent Care and Washington Regional Urgent Care (throughout Arkansas); Urgent Team (throughout Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee); Huntsville Hospital Urgent Care (throughout North Alabama); and Physicians Care (throughout Tennessee and Georgia). Baptist Health Urgent Care’s convenient, walk-in centers provide a range of healthcare services including treatments for injuries and illnesses, occupational health and wellness care. Baptist Health Urgent Care offers three ways to visit: walk-in, 24/7 online scheduling with Hold My Spot® or a Telemedicine visit. Urgent Team’s company headquarters are located in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit


About Baptist Health

For nearly 100 years, Baptist Health has delivered all our best in health care through Christian compassion and innovative services. Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 250 points of access that include 11 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community; over 100 primary and specialty care clinics; a college with studies in nursing and allied health; a graduate residency program; and access to virtual care anytime, anywhere. It is also the largest private not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, providing care through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.