Photo of Woman suffer from cough with face mask protectionIn the age of COVID-19, if you develop a cough or shortness of breath it is often cause for alarm. What we might have taken in stride as a cold just a few years ago is now a serious concern.

We wonder: “Have I contracted COVID-19 or is it my asthma acting up?” How can you tell the difference between COVID-19 and asthma? 

Symptoms of COVID-19 and asthma do overlap somewhat. It’s important to take a look at the similarities and differences to tell whether you have COVID-19 vs asthma:

COVID-19 vs Asthma

COVID-19 Asthma
Fever of over 100.4 No fever
Coughing with or without wheeze Audible cough and wheeze
Shortness of breath Shortness of breath
Nasal congestion Chest tightness and/or congestion
Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea You have to stop talking to catch breath
Headache and fatigue Fatigue
Muscle or body aches Not able to perform daily activities
Poor appetite
Swelling or rash on hands and feet
Loss of taste or smell

If you’re concerned you have COVID-19:

  • Isolate yourself from others and call your doctor for guidance.  
  • If you are having trouble breathing, call 911 — be sure to tell them you are concerned you might have COVID-19.

If you think you are having asthma issues:

  • Follow your Asthma Action Plan.  
  • Use your quick-relief inhaler and other medications as prescribed. 
  • Call 911 if your symptoms become severe.

If you’re not sure what you’re struggling with:

  • Call your doctor.  
  • While waiting to see your doctor, isolate yourself and keep those around you safe (clean surfaces, wear a face mask).  
  • Consider a telehealth visit to talk with your doctor without leaving your home.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, do your best to stay healthy. Eat well, get enough sleep, stay hydrated and exercise. Continue to follow the 3 Ws – Wash your hands, Watch your distance and Wear a mask. Get vaccinated when the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to you.