Flu or Coronavirus: Everything you should know

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Flu or Coronavirus
Flu or Coronavirus

New Delhi : Winter season has almost arrived in several parts of the world, including India, USA, Canada and more. With changing season it is common for people to have cold and cough, leading to thoughts that they may have contracted coronavirus. In this article, we will try to explain as much as possible about the difference between a normal flu and coronavirus.

What is the basic difference between flu and cold?

In general, the symptoms of flu are much worse than that of cold, which can be caused mainly because of four viruses. Flu can happen via hundreds of pathogens. According to experts, a person having flu must have at least two or three symptoms from the below-mentioned list:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Ear infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffed sinuses
  • Headaches
  • Body aches

Seasonal influenza flu in worst cases can cause severe body ache, joint pain, headache, and fever. A lighter version of it is the infection by respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus. If the flu even worsens more, it can cause pneumonia – also a sign of severe COVID-19 infection. Some basic characteristics of pneumonia are rapid breathing, shortness of breath, and in some cases even back or chest pain.

How to know if you have COVID-19 infection or just flu?

These are two different respiratory diseases caused by two different virus; flu is caused by the influenza virus and coronavirus is caused by COVID-19. The only common factor is that both the viruses are highly contagious and can spread with even tiny droplets.

COVID-19 is a viral infection; flu can be both viral and bacterial.

What is more dangerous – Flu or COVID-19?

Since COVID-19 is an acute illness and flu is a chronic illness, the former has sudden effect and impact. COVID-19 signs and symptoms are fever, dry cough, muscle aches, fatigue, and low oxygen saturation. The shortness of breath usually occurs 5 to 10 days after the first sign of exposure. The oxygen saturation can be measured using a pulse oximeter. At the same time, flu shows headache, tiredness, and sore throat.

The effective way to diagnose both is a PCR test. The common symptoms of COVID-19 are runny nose, watery eyes, headache, and diarrhea with other systems of the disease. These symptoms appear, the best treatment is self-quarantined, avoid connection with other family members, and test for COVID-19.

For flu, the common symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting. Runny nose and itchy eyes do not mean you have corona, but if you experience cough, fatigue, and fever, you might have coronavirus.

What is the Recovery Period?

As per known facts, the incubation period of coronavirus can range from 1 day to 14 days, in some cases, it has also been noted to be of 24 days. For the flu, the normal period ranges between 1 to 4 days. For COVID-19, the recovery period is of around two weeks and recovery time for a flu patient is around 1 week. The mortality rate of COVID-19 is 3 to 4%, higher than seasonal flu that is below 0.1%.

Treatment available for Coronavirus and flu

Till the date, when this article was written, there was no official drug which could be used to cure coronavirus. Corona is still untreatable, but the spread is control by using a face mask, hand gloves, and by frequent washing or sanitizing the hands. The healthcare department is using antibiotics and other health measures to cater to the symptoms and not the disease itself.

Who are at higher risk of coronavirus?

People with low immunity like children, pregnant women, old adults and sick people are at a higher risk of getting affected by the coronavirus. On October 10, 2020, there had been 37 million cases of coronavirus, with more than 210 countries are affected that accounted for one-quarter of all global issues.

More than 75 lakh cases have been registered in India itself. 

When did coronavirus start?

The outbreak of COVID-19 started as pneumonia of unknown cause in December 2019, in Wuhan in China start spreading into Asia and then all over the world. In January, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak as a Global Public Health Emergency of International Concerns.

The USA is the most affected country in the world. China has reduced the number of COVID-19 cases as the National Medical Product administration of China has approved the safe use of Favilavir, an antiviral drug for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.