How to differentiate Flu from Covid 19

Flu and Coronavirus are both classified under the not so long list of highly contagious respiratory diseases. Even though they may have similar symptoms, they are caused by different viruses.

While COVID-19 is caused by infection with the SARs Virus first identified in 2019, the flu on the other hand is caused by infection with influenza viruses.

COVID-19 spreads more easily than flu. However, as more information about vaccines is spreading and more people are getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the spread of the virus which causes COVID-19 is beginning to slow down.

Compared to flu, COVID-19 can cause more serious illnesses in some people. It also takes longer for people with COVID to show symptoms and they can be contagious for longer.

Below are more differences and similarities between flu and COVID-19 are available in the different sections below.

Similarities in Signs and Symptoms: COVID-19 and flu can have different degrees of signs and symptoms, varying from no symptoms to serious symptoms. Common symptoms that both COVID-19 and flu share includes:

Fever or feeling feverish/having chills

Cough

Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

Tiredness

Sore throat

Runny nose

Muscle pain or body aches

Headache

Vomiting and diarrhea

Loss of taste or smell (this is more frequent with COVID-19)

Similarities in Exposure after Infection

For COVID-19 and flu infections, days can pass between which a person becomes infected and when he or she starts to feel symptoms of illness.

Differences in Exposure after Infection

It may take longer for a person with COVID-19 takes them longer to experience symptoms while a person experiences symptoms anywhere from one to four days after infection.

Similarities in How Long Someone Can Spread the Virus

COVID-19 and flu can spread the virus for at least one day before an individual starts experiencing any symptoms.

Differences in How Long Someone Can Spread the Virus

An individual who has COVID-19 could be contagious for a longer time.

Most people who have the flu are very contagious from the day before they start showing symptoms; however, infants and people with weak immune systems can be contagious for a longer period.

Similarities in How They Spread

COVID-19 and flu can spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet or less). Both are spread primarily by big or even small particles which can land in the mouths or noses of individuals who are nearby and possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

The two viruses both contain germs that are ejected when people cough, sneeze or talk. Infection can also spread through inhalation or even touch (for example, shaking hands with someone who has the virus on their hands) or coming in contact with a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.

Differences in How They Spread

The virus that causes COVID-19 is generally more contagious than flu viruses. Also, COVID-19 has been known to have more superspreading events than flu. This means the virus that causes COVID-19 can rapidly and effortlessly spread to a lot of people and result in continuous spread among people as time progresses.

Similarities in Risk

COVID-19 and flu illness can lead to severe illness and complications. People at highest risk include; Older adults, individuals with certain underlying medical conditions and pregnant women.

Differences in Risk

COVID-19 causes very serious illnesses in some people. Serious COVID-19 illness may result in hospitalization and death can even occur even in healthy people.

Some people that had COVID-19 can develop post-COVID conditions.

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