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COVID-19 and Influenza Differences: FAQs

Influenza and COVID-19 are two highly contagious respiratory illnesses, but the underlying causes are by different viruses. Coronavirus leads to the infection of COVID-19, whereas the flu is an infection by the influenza viruses. It can be difficult to tell the two diseases apart, especially since their symptoms are nearly identical.

Being well-informed of the illnesses is necessary and proper diagnosis requires a thorough evaluation of the symptoms. They are key differences that you can assess before moving on to treatment and quarantine.

FAQs:

What are the symptoms?

COVID-19 and flu can have similar symptoms that may vary in terms of severity and to no symptoms at all (asymptomatic). Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are all common symptoms among COVID-19 and flu.

Differences:

  • Flu

Flu virus symptoms can range from mild to intense severity among common symptoms, such as those listed above.

  • COVID-19

COVID-19 can be a severer illness and differ from flu with additional rare symptoms such as loss or change in taste or smell.

How long does it take for symptoms to appear after the infection?

Differences:

  • Flu

The symptoms may develop from 1 to 4 days after getting the infection.

  • COVID-19

The time range may differ.  Post-infection the symptoms begin to develop after five days, but can even appear as early as two days or as late as 14 days after being infected.

How it spreads?

Differences:

The virus spreads differently between both the diseases but can be similar. COVID-19 is highly contagious and can easily be spread from direct or in-direct contact in almost all age groups and especially in certain populations. It also is more infectious than influenza and can quickly spread to more people consistently with time. Flu though is infectious, is generally less wide-spreading than COVID-19.

Who are at higher risk?

Differences:

Complications for flu may be more significant in healthy children relative to COVID-19. However, children and infants having underlying medical conditions may be at a higher risk for both diseases.

  • Flu

Young children exposed to the infection are at a higher risk of complications from the flu.

  • COVID-19

The elderly are at a higher risk of having severe complications from COVID-19 and can be fatal in some cases. School going children rarely receive complications of COVID-19 but are at a higher risk of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).

To know more about these illnesses, visit a nearby urgent care center today and book a testing to find out more about COVID-19 testing and seasonal illness treatment.