Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the virus has caused over 6 million deaths worldwide, spreading havoc around the globe and shaking world economies. The contagious disease is very much similar to the FLU, and most people don’t realize they have contracted COVID-19 until their symptoms start getting worse – probably a key reason behind such devastation.
While both Flu and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses with some common symptoms, still they are different and often affect people differently. Furthermore, as the flu virus has long been known, healthcare providers are much more familiar with its complications and treatment. On the contrary, they are still learning about COVID-19 and its mutations, and the research into its treatment is ongoing.
A closer look into the similarities and differences between COVID-19 and Flu will help you understand the two diseases better and stay on guard and get a fast PCR test as soon as you notice the symptoms. Let’s explore!
The Similarities of COVID-19 and the Flu
The similarities between the two contagious diseases are often the primary reason why many people mistake COVID-19 for Flu and seek treatment only after their symptoms get worse. Here is how the two viruses are similar:
- The Spread Of The Viruses Is Similar
Both Flu and COVID-19 viruses spread in ways similar to each other. Close contact with the infected individuals is probably the primary source of transmission of the two viruses. They spread farther and quicker when the infected people get together in poorly-ventilated indoor spaces.
When the people infected with these viruses talk, sneeze, or cough, they release tiny droplets into the air. Anyone who gets in touch with these droplets contracts the viruses.
- Both Viruses Exhibit Some Similar Symptoms
People infected with the Flu and COVID-19 viruses show many similar symptoms. The common symptoms include:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Sore Throat
- Stuffy or Runny nose
- Muscle aches
- Nausea or vomiting
In some cases, both diseases show only mild symptoms. However, they can get severe too. As many of the symptoms for the two conditions are similar, particularly at the initial stages, diagnosing your condition only based on these symptoms is often difficult. So, you may need to find 24 hour pcr test near me to confirm if you have flu or COVID-19.
- They Can Both Result In Serious Complications
Many people who contract COVID-19 or Flu and only have mild symptoms can confirm the disease with a home pcr test and have full recovery by taking plenty of fluids and proper rest. However, some people can develop serious complications and may need to be hospitalized. Both viruses can lead to severe conditions like pneumonia, organ failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, stroke, and heart attacks. In fact, they may even prove to be fatal at times.
The Differences Between COVID-19 and the Flu
Just like similarities, there are multiple differences between the two contagious diseases as well. The differences lie in their causes, symptoms, treatments, and complications. Here are more details about how they are different.
- The Underlying Cause Is Different
Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for causing COVID-19. The virus has even developed multiple mutations over time, and they are all different in their severity and transmissibility.
The influenza virus causes the Flu, and it can be categorized as influenza A and influenza B viruses. Every year, different strains of both these types surface and circulate.
- Both Viruses Exhibit Some Unique Symptoms
Many people who get the COVID-19 infection just don’t feel sick. Sometimes, they only have mild symptoms. In either case, they can transmit the coronavirus to anyone who comes in close contact with them. Sometimes COVID-19 may lead to sudden loss of taste or smell, but it’s very rare with the flu. So, as soon as these symptoms appear, order free at home tests.
- The Treatment Is Different For The Two Illnesses
In severe cases of COVID-19, the patients may need to be hospitalized. The treatment is administered depending on the severity of the condition and can include supplemental oxygen, intravenous medications, assisted ventilation, etc. In cases of a milder illness, drinking lots of fluids and taking proper rest and medications are advised.
While different antiviral drugs are available to treat the Flu, there’s only one approved antiviral drug to date for treating COVID-19. The research is ongoing, however.
- Some Complications are Also Unique to Each Condition
While some complications are caused by both viruses, they may lead to different complications as well. For instance, COVID-19 can lead to post-COVID conditions, blood clots, and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in kids. Flu, on the other hand, can cause a secondary bacterial infection more frequently compared to a COVID-19 infection.
So, both viruses have their similarities and differences. However, if you suspect you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, find an antigen rapid test near me and get local pcr testing right away.