COVID 19 Vs Influenza: Similarities And Difference

COVID 19 Vs Influenza: Similarities And Difference


There are talks about the similarities between COVID 19 and Influenza. As it is increasing day by day, the information about it is available on a wide scale. In just a month or so, scientists identified that there is a pneumonia-like illness with this coronavirus. When it was first identified in the United States the symptoms were similar to influenza and it made it difficult to differentiate between the two viruses. 

Although both are respiratory contagious diseases and are somewhat similar to each other, there are a lot of differences between them. COVID 19 is caused by a new virus ie coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza by the influenza virus. As the symptoms are similar in nature, there is a valid need for testing to prove what is causing the symptoms. 

Similarities between COVID 19 and Influenza

COVID and flu are almost spread in similar ways. They both can spread in similar ways of coming close to each other. Therefore the distance of around 6 feet should be maintained between two people. The virus is released through the droplets which come out of the mouth or nose while talking, coughing, and sneezing. These droplets then land on the mouth, the nose of the other person, or directly inhaled by the other person. These viruses also spread through the surfaces which the infected person had touched. 

Common signs and symptoms of both are:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Tiredness
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting, but this is more common in children’s

In COVID there are two types of people. One is symptomatic ie with symptoms and the others are asymptomatic ie without any prior symptoms. As the signs and symptoms of both are similar in nature, it is quite difficult to diagnose whether it is COVID or flu. So valid testing should be done. People who have mild symptoms of COVID can recover at home only. Those who have severe symptoms should be hospitalized as soon as possible.

Differences between COVID 19 and influenza

COVID 19 and flu have many differences. They are:

  1. The main difference is that both are caused by different viruses.
  2. The person loses his sense of smell and the sense of taste if it is COVID.
  3. The symptoms of COVID 19 appear somewhere between 2 to 14 days of exposure to the virus whereas the flu symptoms may appear within 1 to 4 days of exposure.
  4. COVID 19 is more contagious than flu and can destroy the lungs of the individual.
  5. The mortality rate also seems to be high in COVID as compared to the flu.
  6. Flu can be treated with antiviral medications whereas there is no proof of antiviral medications working in COVID 19. Although there are some medications that can lower the severity of the symptoms.
  7. There is a vaccine for the flu but till date, there is no proof of vaccine for COVID. Although the scientists are trying to make a vaccine for COVID 19.

Related: 19 tips to stay safe from COVID 19 while resuming back to work

How to avoid getting COVID 19

You can take some steps to reduce the risk of COVID 19. Some of the precautions that you can take to reduce your risk of transmission are:

  1. Make a distance of around 6 feet with everyone you meet.
  2. Washing hand regularly with soap and water.
  3. Avoiding large masses and gatherings.
  4. Wearing a mask whenever you move out of your houses.
  5. Don’t go out of your houses unnecessarily.
  6. Cover your nose and mouth with your elbow while sneezing and coughing.
  7. Avoid touching your mouth and nose.
  8. Disinfect the area that is frequently touched.

When you take these precautions, you are at a lower risk of getting the COVID 19 virus.