Scientists have studied the Flu for decades. Despite its dangers, we know a lot about the Flu and viruses that cause it. In contrast, very little is known about the novel coronavirus. Both COVID-19 and Flu are respiratory illnesses that spread from person to person. This article will discuss the differences between COVID-19 and the Flu.
What is Flu?
Virus has the capacity to make changes to their genes and mutate. Influenza A (Swine Flu) took genomes from animals and humans to mutate. Influenza A exists in pigs, birds and humans. The virus in pigs also contracted some from the birds and humans and mutated itself.
How is it different from COVID-19?
Corona is a virus family consisting of several viruses. The family is called Corona because the viruses are shaped like crowns in their appearance. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that occur in people as well as many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats and bats. This most recent outbreak, referred to as COVID-19, is a new strand of beta coronavirus that originated in China.
How are they Similar?
- Both Corona and Flu viruses show symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, aches and pain.
- They both can lead to pneumonia and respiratory concerns – which in turn can lead to organ failure.
- Both viruses are most serious for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems or pre-existing respiratory problems.
- The Flu and Coronavirus are both contagious.
- WHO indicates that people with Flu can pass the virus on before they show any symptoms. A person can also pass on the COVID-19 even if they have no symptoms.
How are they Different?
- The symptoms of the Flu tend to occur faster and can have greater variation.
- According to WHO, the speed of transmission differs between the two viruses. The symptoms of Flu appear sooner and it can spread faster than COVID-19.
- According to WHO, around 15% of COVID-19 cases are severe and 5% are critical. Those in a critical state required a ventilator to breathe. The chance of severe and critical infection is higher with COVID-19 than the Flu.
- There is vaccine and antiviral medication available to protect and fight against Flu. There are no vaccines for COVID-19 yet. Coronavirus is still so new that no vaccines or antiviral medications have yet proven effective against the virus.
Both the Flu and Coronavirus should be taken seriously. Be wary and take hygiene seriously by washing your hands regularly and consider keeping a sanitizer handy. Social Distancing is really important to avoid further transmission. Drink adequate amounts of water, eat a balanced diet, exercise, get the right amount of good quality sleep!
Stay Home, Stay Safe, Get Active and #BeTheForce!