Coronavirus symptoms and spotting the difference between flu and coronavirus

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Many people are wondering when they will start showing symptoms if they do contract coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fever, cough or shortness of breath can all show anywhere between two and 14 days after exposure.

Both influenza and this new strain of the coronavirus cause respiratory disease, and they spread the same way -- through nose and mouth fluids.

One of the telling differences health officials are learning is that coronavirus can lead to severe disease. This is because many people have grown immune to seasonal flu strains. But the World Health Organization says this strain of the coronavirus is new and there is very little known about it.

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GET INFORMATION: Coronavirus details from the CDC

On top of that, an antiviral is still in the works. These are some reasons health officials say the coronavirus needs to be treated differently than the flu.

Since there are similarities between coronavirus and the flu, many people are also wondering how to tell the difference.

WHO says the similarity of symptoms for respiratory viruses can make it difficult to tell the difference based on symptoms alone. A defining factor is recent travel and the people a possibly infected person may have been in contact with.

Some people become infected but don't develop any symptoms and don't even feel sick. The majority of people though, about 80%, recover from the disease without needing special treatment. About one in every five people who catch it need hospital care.

The CDC says anyone who thinks they are showing signs of coronavirus should call their doctor first and limit interactions with other people and pets.

PHOTOS: The impact of coronavirus around the world


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