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Similarities And Differences Between COVID-19 and Flu

COVID-19 and flu  are both contagious respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses.COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza virus. It may be  hard to tell the difference between a flu and COVID-19 because the symptoms are similar so testing may be needed to confirm a diagnosis.

Signs and symptoms

Similarities

  • Fever or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain and body-aches
  • Cough
  • Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea  though this is more common in children than adults.

Differences

COVID-19

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 that may be different from flu include change in or loss of taste and smell.

Flu

  • Flu can cause mild to severe illness including the common symptoms listed above .

How long do symptoms appear when you get exposed or infected

 

COVID-19

Similarities

  • For both viruses, 1 or more days  can pass between a person becoming infected  and when he or she  starts  to the experience symptoms.

Differences

It could take longer for a person with COVID-19 to show symptoms that a person with flu.

 

COVID-19

With COVID-19,  a person develops symptoms 5 days after being infected  but symptoms can appears early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary.

 

Flu

A person typically develops symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection.

 

People at high risk of for severe infection

 

Similarities 

Both COVID-19 and flu can result in severe illness  and complications. Those at high risk include the following :

  • Older adults
  • People with certain underlying medical condition
  • Pregnant women

Differences

The risk for complications for healthy children is higher  for flu and COVID-19. However  infants and children with underlying medical conditions are at increased  risk for both flu and COVID-19.

 

Flu

Young children are at higher risk fo severe illness  from flu.

 

COVID-19

School aged children infected with COVID-19 are at higher risk of Multisystem Inflammmatory Syndrome in Children MIS-C , a rare but  severe complication of COVID-19

 

Complications

 

Similarities

Both COVID-19 and flu can result in complications including the following :

  • Respiratory failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Sepsis
  • Cardiac Injury  such as heart attaches and stroke
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome that is fluid in the lungs
  • Multiple organ failure respiratory failure, kidney failure, shock
  • Secondary bacterial infections that is infection that occur in people  who have already been infected with COVID-19 or flu.
  • Inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissue
  • Worsening of chronic medical  condition involving the lungs, heart, nervous system and diabetes .

Differences

 

COVID-19

Additional complications of COVID-19 include

  • Blood clots in the veins and arteries of the lungs, heart , legs and brain,
  • Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

Flu

Most people with flu recover from a few days to less than 2 weeks but some develop complications.

 

Vaccine

 

Similarities

Vaccines for COVID-19 and flu must be approved or authorized for emergency use (EUA) by the FDA.

 

Differences

COVID-19

  • There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Vaccine developers and other researchers and manufacturers are expediting the development of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Flu

  • There are multiple FDA-licensed influenza vaccineproduced annually to protect against the 3 or 4 flu viruses that scientists anticipate will circulate each year.

 

Content Sources
Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19​.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm Accessed September 15th, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 vs. the Flu. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu. Accessed September 15th, 2020

Coronavirus vs. flu: Similarities and differences. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-vs-flu/art-20490339. Accessed September 15th, 2020

December 3, 2020 | 7:40 31    By oohs N coos    

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