Symptom Similarities & Differences Between the Flu and COVID-19

COVID-19 and the flu are both contagious respiratory diseases caused by viruses. While they have many symptoms in common, such as cough, fever, and body aches, COVID-19 has some unique attributes. The way that COVID-19 is affecting individuals can vary in both symptoms and severity. Continue reading to learn about the similarities and differences between the flu and COVID-19. If you think you have been exposed to or have COVID-19, contact the team at St. Elizabeth Urgent Care for a telemedicine visit.


The viruses that cause the flu and COVID-19 are spread in similar ways. They can both spread between people who are in close contact and are spread through respiratory droplets that are released when one is talking, sneezing, or coughing. Both viruses can also spread if a person touches a surface with one of the viruses on it and then touches his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.


Both the flu and COVID-19 can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms to severe symptoms. Common symptoms that these illnesses share include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose


While the flu and COVID-19 do have similarities, there are distinctions between the two. Flu symptoms will generally appear anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection while COVID-19 symptoms can begin to show up 5 to 15 days after infection. COVID-19 symptoms also tend to last longer than the flu. The following symptoms are common among those with COVID-19 while standard flu sufferers rarely encounter these issues:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Consistent shaking & chills
  • Sudden loss of taste & smell
  • Red/swollen eyes
  • Skin rashes


If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and would like to speak to a healthcare professional, we urge you to schedule a telemedicine visit before coming in. A virtual urgent care visit allows the team at St. Elizabeth Urgent Care to evaluate your health concerns remotely while helping reduce exposure to both the flu and COVID.

We offer on-site COVID-19 testing at our urgent care clinics in Houston and Dickinson, TX. Contact us today if you are interested in being tested for COVID-19.

Should I Still Get a Flu Shot During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

With the flu season quickly approaching, many are wondering if they should still get the flu shot, especially as we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are wondering if the flu shot will increase the chances of contracting COVID-19, while others are wondering if it will help protect them against it.

Both the flu and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses and while they have similar symptoms, they are caused by different viruses. Unfortunately, it is not known if the viruses will interact during the upcoming cold and flu season, so it’s important to protect yourself as much as you can.

Protect yourself by getting a flu shot and reducing your chances of contracting the flu. Not only will this be beneficial for you and those in your household, but it will reduce the need for medical assistance. This will help keep limited health care resources open as other patients are dealing with COVID-19 symptoms.

Since the viruses are separate, being immunized for the flu does not make you susceptible of getting COVID-19 or reduce your chances of getting it. An FDA-approved vaccine is not available for COVID-19 yet, which makes it important to protect yourself against the flu. These vaccines are designed to protect people from different strains of the flu that are most likely to be prevalent.


You Can Rely On St. Elizabeth Urgent Care Clinic

At St. Elizabeth Urgent Care, we offer flu shots for those in the Jersey City and Houston, TX areas. Flu shots are approved for patients as young as 6 months old. They are recommended for pregnant women and those at high risk of complications from the flu. By receiving a flu shot, it can reduce flu symptoms and flu-related hospitalizations. You should get a flu shot in September or before the end of October, as recommended by the CDC. There are no current shortages on flu shots, but you should not delay in getting yours.

Do your part and protect yourself, your household, and the community by receiving a flu shot. Reduce the burden health care facilities may experience due to the flu, especially with the already scarce resources as we are dealing with COVID-19.

Stop into our family urgent care today for your flu shot! If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, contact us today about getting tested.

COVID-19 and the flu vaccine: What you need to know

Another flu season is right around the corner. And this year, we’re expecting to face it in the midst of a coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

So, what does that mean for you? Should cancer patients and their caregivers skip getting a flu shot this year, or is it more important than ever? Will getting a flu shot increase your risk of catching the coronavirus?

We spoke with Elizabeth Frenzel, M.D., who manages MD Anderson’s employee flu vaccination program, to get answers.

Click Here to View the Article

How to Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus (COVID-19)

First detected in China in late 2019, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has now spread to almost 70 locations internationally, including the United States. As of March 2020, officials in the United States have confirmed approximately 80 cases in 13 states and nine deaths.

Take care of your health and help product others by doing the following:

Wash Your Hands Frequently

Thoroughly washing your hands can kill viruses that may have been picked up during your daily activities. To properly wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand rub or use soap and water, and wash for at least twenty seconds.

Keep Your Distance

If you are around anyone who is coughing or sneezing, maintain a three-foot distance away from them. When anyone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose and/or mouth. If they are infected with the virus and you breathe it in, you could catch the COVID-19 virus.

Avoid Touching Your Face

Your hands touch hundreds of surfaces every day, making them very susceptible to picking up germs and potentially the coronavirus. Once your hands are contaminated, they can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth very easily.

Practice Proper Hygiene

When you cough or sneeze, make sure to cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately after use. Practicing good respiratory hygiene can protect the people around you from the coronavirus and the every-day cold or flu.

Seek Medical Care Early

If you are feeling unwell, staying at home is the best choice you can make. If you have a fever, cough, or are experiencing difficulty breathing, seek medical care right away by teleconferencing with our staff . Please be advised that you should only be wearing a mask if you are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms, not if you are healthy.

Stay Informed

Staying informed on the latest developments involving COVID-19 can give you the knowledge and advice necessary to protect yourself and others from catching to disease. Visit the WHO and CDC websites for the most up-to-date information.

If you are concerned that you may have contracted COVID-19 or are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, contact one of St. Elizabeth Urgent Care locations right away! We conveniently have urgent care centers throughout the state of Texas.

How to Stay Healthy During the New Year


Happy 2020! Are you trying to stay healthy in the new year? Here are a few tips to help you keep up with your resolution.


Get Enough Sleep

You can never underestimate the value of a good night’s rest. Too many of us don’t actually get the amount of sleep that we should, which leads to sluggishness and drowsiness later on. Being too tired can detract you from doing things that you want to do and can make you more susceptible to catching a cold, or worse, the flu. Make sure you get at least seven hours of shut-eye each night.


Stay Active

After relaxing after the holidays, you may feel a bit discouraged about going back to the gym or getting back into your regular routine. Staying active plays a major role in your health, and not just related to your weight. Getting exercise helps your body to release endorphins, which is a chemical that makes you feel happy.


Limit Your Stress

It’s nearly impossible to tell someone to turn off their stress completely, but we do recommend trying to limit your stress levels as much as possible. Stress wears your body out, similarly to a lack of sleep. Try to give yourself some time to relax (this is where exercise can be a big help).


Practice Healthy Hygiene

This is as simple as washing your hands before and after a meal, after using the rest room, or after going through crowded areas. Germs spread with ease, so sanitizing or washing your hands is a simple way to limit germs around you.


Follow Healthy Eating Habits

A good rule of thumb to follow is to have half of your plate filled with fruits or vegetables; carbs and meats should be jointly limited to the remaining half. Hydration is a part of healthy eating, too, so remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.


By following these tips, you’ll have a better chance of staying healthy and avoiding any illnesses. Remember, we also have weight loss programs, seasonal flu clinics, and other urgent care services available!

Benefits of Urgent Care Centers

If you have a regular primary care physician that you visit, you may be wondering why you’d ever have the need to visit an urgent care facility. There are actually many benefits to choosing an immediate care office like St. Elizabeth’s Urgent Care, depending on the type of care that you are looking for.


Later Hours

You can’t control when you come down with something. That doesn’t mean that you should have to wait until normal business hours to try and get an appointment with your primary care provider. St. Elizabeth Urgent Care center in Dickinson, TX is open seven days a week and both locations stay open later than most primary care facilities.



As a walk-in clinic, you do not need an appointment. If your primary care provider is fully booked, we encourage you to stop by our center for fast, efficient care.


Multiple Services

Immediate care facilities can take care of the same ailments that a primary care office can. We also treat minor lacerations, burns, sprains, and broken bones. St. Elizabeth Urgent Care serves as an STD clinic and offers weight loss shots and programs.



Whether you have insurance or not, you don’t have to be concerned about the cost of your care. We are an affordable care provider there when you need us most.


Lower Wait Times

Perhaps there have been times where you have gone to a hospital for a non-life-threatening ailment/injury because you couldn’t get into your primary care’s office. You may spend hours upon hours at a hospital waiting for someone to get to you. At an urgent care center, you’ll be seen quickly and still provided with the same high level of care that you expect and deserve.


St. Elizabeth Urgent Care has two convenient locations near Houston, TX. Our Dickinson, TX and Jersey Village, TX offices both provide the highest level of care. Please call today to inquire more about our available services or stop by for treatment for non-life-threatening conditions.

Understanding the Differences Between Urgent Care, ER, and PCP

Urgent care, emergency room, primary care physician. To those outside of the medical world, those terms may seem interchangeable. However, each is unique, providing different services and offering different hours. Understanding the difference between the three can help ensure that you get the proper care you need in a timely manner.

Defining each term

Urgent care

Urgent care centers are almost a middle ground between a PCP and the ER. For those with minor injuries or ailments, such as sprains or sinus infections, urgent care centers are an opportunity to receive the services generally provided by a PCP without having to wait weeks for an appointment. For those with children in need of school physicals, most urgent care centers (like St. Elizabeth Urgent Care) can take care of those.


Your primary care physician (PCP) is your doctor that you generally see consistently, building both a relationship and a history with one another. The primary benefit of visiting a PCP is that you know who you’re going to be discussing your medical situation with every visit, unlike an urgent care center or emergency room. Although your PCP may be more difficult to get an immediate appointment with, they are better off treating chronic issues or writing prescriptions for things such as antidepressants.


The ER (emergency room) is just as the name describes it. Emergency rooms are generally only visited for potentially threatening situations. Car accidents, severe pains, or major blood loss are all possible reasons one would have to visit an emergency room.

Understanding and utilizing each of the three aforementioned services is important to receiving proper care. For reference, below is a list of some more common illnesses and injuries and which of the three you should visit for appropriate care:

Minor allergic reactions (slight itchiness, rash): primary care physician, urgent care

Major allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock): emergency room

Major broken bones: emergency room

Minor broken bones: urgent care

Cold or flu-like symptoms: urgent care, primary care physician

Immunizations: primary care physician

Sore throat, ear pain, minor sinus issues: primary care physician, urgent care

Vomiting or diarrhea: primary care physician, urgent care

School physicals: primary care physician, urgent care


For those in the Houston, TX are looking for convenient urgent care services, look no further than St. Elizabeth Urgent Care. We have one location in Dickinson, TX and another in Jersey Village, TX. Click here to learn more about each of our urgent care centers.

Preparing For Cold Season

Cold season can be loosely defined as the time of year when colds, or cold-like symptoms, seem to get ahold of just about everyone regardless of age. Unfortunately, cold season seems to start right as your children are going back to school, giving the colds a chance to spread quickly. Luckily for you, there are some precautionary measure you can take to ensure your defense against colds is as strong as possible.

Wash your hands

So simple, yet so forgettable. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Before you eat, after the bathroom, and when you’re bored. Wash for roughly 20 seconds with soap and water.

Avoid touching your face

Germs can be spread easily if you touch something dirty and then touch your face or mouth. If you’re someone that tends to subconsciously touch your face, do your best to avoid it. This will reduce the likelihood of catching a cold. Fight the urge to rub your eyes, pick food out of your mouth with your finger, or anything else similar.

Get quality sleep

Without getting too scientific, lack of quality sleep can have negative effects on your immune system. The suggested amount of sleep depends on your age, and the quality of sleep you get has a handful of factors. A general rule of thumb, however, is that adults get 8 hours, teenagers get 9 hours, and adolescents get 10 hours.

Keep your surrounding area clean

Keeping your home and work space clean by using disinfectant sprays and wipes will eliminate potential germs that can get you sick. Wipe down frequently touched surfaces, such as phones, doorknobs, keyboards, or cabinet handles.

Stay away from potential dangers

If you see someone excessively coughing and sneezing, do your best to keep your distance. While interacting with people, keeping your distance can keep you out of range of unexpected coughs or sneezes that, while extremely unpleasant, also carry pathogens.

Drink water, eat clean

Hydration can help boost your immune system, as well as a diet that includes vitamin D and C rich foods. Fruits and vegetables are a safe bet, and relying on water as opposed to other drinks is the proper way to stay hydrated.