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Covid-19 Versus The Flu: How To Tell The Difference

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COVID-19 and the Influenza share a lot of similarities, and this is why some people tend to have difficulty differentiating their symptoms. For starters, both illnesses are caused by viruses although not the same virus, and they both affect the respiratory system. COVID-19 is caused by a new virus called the SARS-COV-2, while the seasonal Influenza or the flu is caused by the Influenza virus. Due to the similarities in their symptoms, they can be differentiated by diagnosis and testing.

For your private COVID-19 testing, contact us at STD Check Clinic in London. In this article, you will find all you need or know about the key differences between COVID-19 and the Influenza.

Similarities Between Covid-19 And The Influenza

Between the COVID-19 and the Influenza, there are varying degrees of symptoms. This ranges from asymptomatic ( meaning no symptoms), to severe symptoms. The similarities between these two diseases is more than just their symptoms. Both diseases are also spread through respiratory droplets and contaminated surfaces, and both diseases are also airborne.

The common symptoms shared between COVID-19 and the Influenza include the following:

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle pain
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea in some cases, especially children or younger people

Subsequently, both illnesses can lead to Pneumonia as a secondary infection. Pneumonia inflames the air sac in one or both of the lungs

COVID-19

As earlier mentioned, COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus and attacks the lungs. Symptoms usually develop some days after you have been infected, however, the number of days before symptoms begin to appear depend on the individual’s immune system. For some people, symptoms can begin to manifest as early as 2 days after infection, and for others, symptoms can set in late in about 14 days after infection. On average, symptoms begin to show after 5 days of infection and slowly progresses from there if not treated. COVID-19 can cause serious illness in people when they get infected. They may begin to notice some other signs or symptoms that are different from the Influenza, such as loss of taste and smell.

Generally, symptoms of COVID-19 include the following:

  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle and body pain
  • Cough
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Stuffy or Runny nose

Who is at risk

Some people are at greater risk of suffering more severe symptoms if they get infected with COVID-19. People who are aged 65 and above and people who have medical problems and underlying health issues like heart problems, diabetes, obesity and kidney problems face a greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Treatment and recovery

Currently, there is no vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19. However, people who have mild symptoms can recover at home with lots of rest and fluids. For people with more severe symptoms, they would have to be hospitalisedwhere they would receive supportive treatment for the COVID-19.

What to do if you have Covid-19

If you have been infected with the SARS-COV-2, stay at home and monitor your symptoms for at least 10 days. Be sure to inform your health care provider for more information and advice. Stay away from people in order to avoid spreading the virus and always wear a face mask and protective gloves. Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.

Influenza

The Influenza is caused by the Influenza virus, which is seasonal. When you get infected, symptoms can take anytime from 2 to 4 days before they begin to manifest. The symptoms that are common with the flu include the following:

  • Cough
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea (more common in adults)

Who is at risk?

Certain groups of people are at greater risk of being seriously affected by the flu. Such people are people who have medical problems like diabetes, kidney problems and heart problems. People who are older and more advanced in age are also at risk of developing serious illnesses from the flu.

Treatment and recovery

There are vaccines available for the prevention of the flu. Being a seasonal disease, the vaccine is taken when its season sets in to protect people from the virus that causes the flu. If you do get infected, however, there are medications that can be taken to address the symptoms. Your doctor can prescribe oral antiviral medication within 24 – 48 hours of your infection. The next thing that can help in recovery would be to rest.

What to do if you have the influenza

Whether you have mild or moderate symptoms, you would have to stay off your feet for a while until you get better. You might be advised by your doctor to remain rested until your fever has gone for at least 24 hours. If your symptoms do not improve however, then you should visit your doctor for medical care.

If you experience symptoms that are similar to both the Influenza and the COVID-19, get tested and be sure of which one you are infected with. Click Here for a COVID-19 test in London at STD Check Clinic London. Get in touch with us today.

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Rick Martin is a professional doctor associated to STI Clinic London for over a long period time. During his leisure time, he loves to create interesting blogs mainly on health and lifestyle to aware the people.