COVID & Flu: Differences

Every year, the flu affects more than 40 million people from mid-fall to late spring; according to the Disease Prevention and Control Center. There is an annual influx of flu shots and over-the-counter medication purchases in regards to flu prevention and treatment.

The 2019 coronavirus outbreak that has caused almost 100,000 illnesses in less than two months has many overlapping symptoms with the flu. Both are infectious ailments with similar transmission paths and preventative measures, but they also differ in numerous ways. Knowing the difference between the two viruses will assist you with efficiently addressing the infection.

Influenza A, influenza B, and the coronavirus are considered contagious respiratory viruses. The Disease Control Prevention Center states that the flu shows itself through symptoms such as headaches, stuffy nose, or fever.

When children get the flu, vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms they experience. There is generally an incubation period that can last up to five days prior to flu symptoms manifesting. Most people who become infected with the flu recover in about 10-15 days.

Failing to properly treat the flu can lead to further infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis. There are many options for the prevention and treatment of the flu because it has been studied since the early 1900s; when it was discovered.

The coronavirus is new and poses many complexities in the fact that researchers don’t have much data to understand how it works. A study conducted in January of 2020 revealed the most common symptoms of the coronavirus are shortness of breath and fever; with 4% of those infected reporting sore throat and 1% reporting diarrhea.

The incubation period for this virus is three times longer than that of influenza; up to 15 days before symptoms. A doctor from Yale University says that the symptoms are very similar which makes it hard to distinguish the two viruses.

One of the biggest differences between the two respiratory infections is the lack of information on the treatment and causes of the coronavirus. The two may be compared for their symptoms, but the fact is there are vaccinations and medications to treat and prevent the flu; not the coronavirus.

The flu shot has become as common and traditional as setting back the clocks during winter. One of the issues with this outbreak is that the vaccination processes cost money and many other resources. In addition to this, there are various development stages for vaccines; and this takes time.

By researchers and scientists vigorously working on coronavirus vaccinations, future outbreaks may be prevented. The CDC is recommending the regular guidelines for respiratory illness prevention. This includes frequently washing your hands with soap and water, refraining from touching your face, and avoiding contact with people who are sick.

Influenza and the coronavirus are very similar respiratory infections with the same symptoms. However, the longer incubation period and lack of data on coronavirus make it a bigger threat; as there is no vaccination. The outbreak started in China 2 months ago and has since spread to other global territories.

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