Flu vs. COVID-19: Can You Inform the Distinction?

Infectious illness specialist Kristin Englund, MD, shares her perception of the important thing similarities and variations between COVID-19 and the flu.

Lately, the second you develop a little bit of cough or begin to feel barely sick, your mind would possibly instantly go to COVID-19.

However, a number of the widespread signs of COVID-19 are just like different widespread viral infections, together with the flu (to not point out colds and seasonal allergies). Each virus can make you are feeling awful, however, they’re different diseases brought on by totally different viruses.

Infectious illness specialist Kristin Englund, MD, shares her perception of the important thing similarities and variations between COVID-19 and the flu.

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May You Have Covid-19 Or The Flu?

The flu has been around for a few years. Throughout winter months, two sorts of influenza viruses, varieties A and B, trigger outbreaks, although getting a flu shot can offer you robust safety. SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is a more moderen virus.

“This was one thing we’d by no means seen earlier than, so nobody had pure immunity towards it,” Dr. Englund explains. “That’s why it’s been in a position to unfold worldwide so quickly — as a result, nobody was protected.”

How Covid-19 And The Flu Are Unfold

Right here’s one thing the viruses have in widespread: Each coronavirus and the flu are handed from individual to individual in related methods — using droplets that come out of a contaminated particular person’s nostril and mouth once they cough, sneeze, or discuss. When one other particular person inhales these droplets (or touches a floor contaminated with the virus after which touches their mouth, nostril, or eyes), they will grow to be contaminated, too.

Importantly, each virus could be unfoldeded by people who find themselves contaminated but not exhibiting signs. Stay home in case you’ve been uncovered or contaminated so that you just don’t threaten to spread the flu or COVID-19 to others.

Signs Of Covid-19 And The Flu

Gentle circumstances of COVID-19 currently equal to the flu. “The signs are nearly identical, particularly new infections in individuals who have been vaccinated,” Dr. Englund says. “Breakthrough circumstances with delicate signs could feel similar to the flu.”

According to the CDC, each COVID-19 and the flu can result in the spread of delicate to extreme diseases. They each could trigger:

  • Physique aches.
  • Cough.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Runny or stuffy nostril.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sore throat.
  • Tiredness.

Some individuals with COVID-19 additionally develop different signs not related to the flu. They embody:

  • A bluish tint to pores and skin, lips, and/or fingernails.
  • Confusion.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Problem concentrating.
  • Incapability to remain awake.
  • Lack of sense of scent and/or style.
  • Nausea.
  • Ache or strain within the chest.
  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Vomiting.
    In the event, you expertise the signs of COVID-19 and/or the flu, name your physician’s workplace. They could direct you to the emergency room, their workplace, or online for a digital go-to, or provide you with directions for getting examined for one or each of the viruses.
    When you’ve got extreme signs, akin to chest ache, shortness of breath, dizziness, or an extreme headache, go to the closest emergency division or dial 911.

Do You Have To Get Examine?

Getting examine is the one actual technique to inform the distinction between COVID-19 and the flu. “Even in case you’ve been vaccinate, it’s nonetheless cheap to get yourself examine so that you realize whether or not that is influenza versus a breakthrough of COVID-19,” Dr. Englund says.

The Way To Deal With Covid-19 And The Flu

There’s one other profit to getting examin: When you realize which virus you may have, you will get a remedy (or deal with yourself) accordingly.

“For every one of them, it’s about symptom management,” Dr. Englund says. “For COVID-19, you wish to ensure you’re keeping track of your temperature and utilizing a pulse oximeter, a small machine you set in your finger to make it possible for your oxygen ranges to be in a standard vary.”

  • Relaxation up. While you’re sick with any virus, taking it simple will enable your physique to dedicate its restricted power to combating again.
  • Keep hydrated. Hydration is important if you’re sick, serving to be sure that your organs and muscle groups are working correctly.
  • Ease your signs. Over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen or cold-and-flu drugs may assist you in feeling higher when you get well. You should comply with the correct dosage directions.
  • Discuss with your physician. There’s no actual remedy for COVID-19, although you might be eligible to obtain monoclonal antibodies. When you’ve got the flu, your physician could prescribe remedies that may assist lower down on the period you are feeling sick.

How Lengthy The Flu And Covid-19 Final

Sometimes, flu signs stick around for 4 or 5 days — perhaps even as much as seven days, Dr. Englund says, whereas the CDC reports that folks with delicate to average COVID-19 stay infectious for about 10 days after symptom onset.

Some individuals proceed to expertise the results of COVID-19 even after they’ve stopped being contagious. “Long-haulers,” as they’re referring to, are those that nonetheless expertise some kind of symptom 28 days or later after they had been the first contaminant.

“Most individuals with both sicknesses can get well at the house with relaxation, fluids, and over-the-counter medicines for fever or physique aches,” Dr. Englund says. “However in some circumstances, they will each end in issues like pneumonia, acute respiratory misery syndrome, and irritation of the center, mind, or muscle tissue. These issues usually tend to affect older adults and other people with underlying medical circumstances.”

Further issues related to COVID-19 embody blood clots and multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

In the event you contract both viruses, it’s vital to watch your signs and keep in contact with your physician.

Prevention And Vaccination Are Key

A couple of easy steps could make a giant distinction in preserving your wholesome and curbing the unfold of COVID-19 and the flu:

  • Wash your arms ceaselessly.
  • Keep away from touching your eyes, nostril, and mouth.
  • Keep away from shut contact with people who find themselves sick.
  • Disinfect ceaselessly touched surfaces.
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or tissue as an alternative to your arms.
  • Keep house if you’re sick.
  • Preserve carrying a mask in public.

And for each virus, there’s one key technique to shield yourself: vaccination.

All three COVID-19 vaccines permit to use in America are protect, efficient, and doubtlessly life-changing. Although breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are potential, fewer than 0.005% of absolutely vaccinated People have skilled breakthrough cases leading to hospitalization or death.

Simply make sure you get vaccinate against each COVID-19 and influenza, as a result of getting simply one of many vaccines gain shield you from the opposite virus.

“The viruses that trigger influenza are fully different from the virus that causes COVID-19 so that they require different vaccines that will help you construct immunity to them,” Dr. Englund explains.

“A COVID-19 vaccine is not going to shield you from influenza and vice versa. So on this season of respiratory sickness, it’s critically vital for everyone to get each sort of vaccine to have the ability to shield themselves and their households.”

Harry Jonsen

I am professional blogger and Digital marketer. I am currently researching and writing more on Customizable Online event platform and Webinar Platform as they have become the new trend in the events industry. I am finding out the most economical event hosting platforms available in the market.

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