Fast Five Quiz: Rhinovirus Facts vs Fiction

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD


December 09, 2020

Rhinovirus and coronavirus infections can cause similar symptoms, including:

  • Cough

  • Body aches

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion

  • Loss of taste or smell (anosmia)

Although the degree and frequency vary, in general, the following symptoms are more commonly associated with COVID-19 than with rhinovirus infection:

  • High fever (around 102°F-103°F [38.9°C-39.4°C])

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea

Sinus congestion, stuffy nose, postnasal drip, and sneezing are more commonly associated with rhinovirus infection than with COVID-19. Systemic signs and symptoms, such as fever and malaise, are unusual in adults with rhinovirus infection. If they are present, consider an alternative diagnosis. The fever associated with rhinovirus infection is rarely high and is typically low-grade or moderate.

Read more about the clinical presentation of COVID-19.


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