Covid or the flu? The school nurse probably knows.

Loss of taste and smell is a distinctive symptom, Vogt says


Nicholas Rodecap

Tissues and hand sanitizer are among the items outside the nurse’s office in Kelly Hall.

Nicholas Rodecap, Reporter

As the days turn colder and the sights and sounds of winter fill the Indiana air, some students may begin to feel the onset of a runny nose, sore throat or even a fever, all signs of the seasonal flu. However, in the age of Covid-19, it is important to be able to differentiate between the flu and the coronavirus.

“Covid-19 and the seasonal flu are very, very similar,” school nurse Mrs. Marianne Vogt said. “The only way to tell the difference would be to get tested for either one or both. It is even possible to get the flu and Covid-19 at the same time. One symptom that is only seen in Covid-19 is the loss of taste and/or smell. Not everyone with Covid shows this symptom, but if it happens it is automatically diagnosed as Covid-19.

“Another difference is that the flu usually causes symptoms as early as one day after exposure to the virus, and up to four days after exposure. After a coronavirus exposure, (people usually do not show) symptoms for at least two days and can take up to 14 days before it makes a person ill.”

Vogt said that there are numerous symptoms that can occur from either Covid-19 or the flu, including a fever, cough, headache, fatigue and a sore throat.

With fall break looming, it is imperative that people do their part to keep themselves and the people around them healthy. “Wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and avoid large gatherings,” Vogt said. “We have not a full flu season at the same time as the pandemic. There is so much unknown about the coronavirus and how to treat it. We all just need to work together and do what we can to prevent the spread of both the flu and Covid-19,” Vogt said.

Fall break begins at the end of the school day on Oct. 20. School resumes via Zoom on Oct. 26, with students returning to campus on Oct. 27.