The Coronavirus conundrum: flu, common cold, seasonal allergies or covid-19 infection?

10:06 PM | 31 Oct, 2020
The Coronavirus conundrum: flu, common cold, seasonal allergies or covid-19 infection?

The novel coronavirus is known to cause the covid-19 disease has infected 325,000 people in Pakistan and caused up to 6,700 deaths. The disease’s most predominant presentation is a respiratory illness consequently it can be confused with the common cold, the flu, and seasonal allergies. As we approach the Fall Season and the temperatures drop we are headed towards a period of utter confusion where every sneeze, cough, or sniffle will have us thinking ‘Is this the flu? Is this a common cold? Is it a seasonal allergy?’ or dare I say it; ‘Is it the coronavirus?’.

While the anxiety that comes from having these symptoms is justified, jumping the gun and self-diagnosing ourselves will not help anyone. The best course of action would be to reach out to your family physician if you experience any symptoms and then follow the protocol advised by him after a clinical diagnosis.

The chart below gives an idea of what symptoms to expect in relation to each disease and how you can tell apart the diseases based on their symptoms, however, a visit with the physician is a must, no self-diagnosing, and no self-medication! 

Sources: CDC, NIH, Mayo Clinic.

Symptoms that are unique to Covid-19, by contrast, include a new onset or recently developed loss of taste and smell, which has been experienced by 85% of infected people as reported by a recent study. The study also cited that 50% of the people who had Covid-19 experienced difficulty breathing as well. So if anyone in your family experiences these unique symptoms, it’s time to call your family physician.

Who are at a high risk of getting the Covid-19?

· Are over the age of 65

· Have cancer

· Have hypertension

· Have lung disease

· Have diabetes

· Have heart disease

· Have a condition which decreases their immunity

· Are taking medicines which decreases their immunity

What you can do to protect yourself against the virus?

· Wear a face mask

· Practice social distancing 

· Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Alternatively, use a hand sanitiser with a high alcohol content (more than 60%).

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

· Stay home if you are sick.

· Cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing.

· Disinfect high contact surfaces before using them.

While we wait for a vaccine to arrive or herd immunity to be reached, the best way to live our lives would be to adjust to the ‘new normal’ and practice the prevention protocol.


Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 20 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remained largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 20, 2024 (Tuesday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.05 for buying and 282.1 for selling.

On Tuesday, Euro stands at 301 for buying and 304 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.4 for buying, and 355.4 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.55 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.2.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 20 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.05 282.1
Euro EUR 301 304
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.4 355.4
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.55 77.25
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.2 75
Australian Dollar AUD 180 182
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.12 751.12
Canadian Dollar CAD 206.5 208.5
China Yuan CNY 38.84 39.24
Danish Krone DKK 40.24 40.64
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.74 36.09
Indian Rupee INR 3.48 3.59
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 906.33 915.33
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.1 172.1
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 725.75 733.75
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 207
Swedish Korona SEK 26.85 27.15
Swiss Franc CHF 315.64 318.14
Thai Bhat THB 7.93 8.08


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