The world is currently transitioning into an endemic phase for the Pandemic COVID-19. A deep sigh of relief can be heard from every corner of Earth. However, the lull to safety is being disrupted by the rising number of cases of another highly infectious disease – Influenza (Flu).
Both the flu and COVID-19 are easily spread through body fluids from infected individuals and affect our respiratory system. They share similar symptoms making the normal person unable to distinguish one from another. Testing is therefore required to identify the disease and confirm a diagnosis. Testing is very vital because it can confirm whether a person is suffering from the flu or COVID-19.
Protecting yourself from these infectious diseases begins with understanding the similarities and differences between COVID-19 and influenza.
COVID-19 & Flu: Similarities
Both are respiratory diseases
Similar symptoms between the two diseases include a runny nose, sore throat, fever, headache, and exhaustion. Both diseases can cause varying degrees of illness in individuals. Some people may be symptomless, have minor symptoms, or have a serious illness. The sad part is, that we must be aware, that both COVID-19 and influenza can be lethal.
Both spread in similar ways
When a person with COVID-19 or influenza coughs, sneezes, speaks, sings, or does breathe deeply, droplets and aerosols are released into the air. People nearby—typically within one meter of the infected person, but occasionally much farther—can get the droplets and aerosols into their eyes, noses, or mouths. By contacting contaminated surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth without washing their hands, people can also get infected by COVID-19 and influenza.
COVID-19 & Flu: Differences
Cause of disease
COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2. There are various SARS-CoV-2 strains, and they vary in terms of how serious or contagious they are.
The flu is caused by the influenza virus. The influenza A and influenza B viruses are the two primary strains. Each year, new influenza A and influenza B viruses appear and spread.
The flu and COVID-19 symptoms differ in some ways and appear at different times. Symptoms of COVID-19 often occur 2–14 days after exposure. Generally, flu symptoms start to show up in the person 1-4 days after exposure.
Sometimes, COVID-19 can cause a person to suddenly lose their sense of taste (ageusia) or smell (anosmia) This can happen with some flu virus types, albeit it rarely does.
COVID-19: Following a COVID-19 case, complications such as long-term impairment to the heart, kidneys, brain, lungs, and other organs as well as a number of long-lasting symptoms are possible.
Influenza: Some of the possible complications include Myocarditis, encephalitis, myositis, rhabdomyolysis, and multi-organ failure. Following an episode of influenza infection, secondary bacterial infections, in particular pneumonia, might develop. This may result in serious conditions & death, especially in the elderly & those with lesser immunity.
COVID-19: The course of treatment for COVID-19 is determined by how severe the infection is. Resting at home and taking medication to lower the fever symptomatically usually suffices for milder infections. Hospitalization may be necessary for more severe cases, and treatment may involve intravenous medications, supplementary oxygen, assisted ventilation, and other supportive measures.
Influenza: Oral antiviral drugs can treat symptoms and occasionally shorten the duration of the infection. These antiviral treatments can be prescribed for patients at home or in a hospital because they are administered orally.
Maragakis, L. L. (2022, February 23). COVID-19 vs. The flu. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu
WHO. (2021). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Similarities and differences between COVID-19 and Influenza. World Health Organisation. https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-similarities-and-differences-with-influenzaCDC. (2022, January 18). Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm
Are you having symptoms for COVID-19 or Influenza? Get yourself checked or treated at our Awam Clinic Glenmarie TODAY! Just walk-in our clinic, no reservations needed. We provide you the best healthcare services in town, supported by our 5-star rating from Google Review.
For more information, please contact us at +60 16-312 7959 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org