Influenza and coronavirus infections are in first place in terms of the number of people who become ill each year. These infectious diseases have similar symptoms and course of the disease. But how can you still distinguish the flu from the coronavirus, which is now widespread? Treatment and other factors directly depend on this. So in this article, we will take a closer look at the topic of influenza vs coronavirus.
Symptoms and severity
The most common and similar symptoms are dry cough, high fever, and general weakness. Less often, patients complain of headaches or muscle pain.
Also Covid-19 has its unique symptom. Many infected people temporarily lose the smell and sometimes taste. This means that the coronavirus can affect not only the respiratory organs but also the nervous system. Coronavirus infection can also cause digestive upset, which is a rare case even in adults with influenza.
Since the symptoms in the early stages are very similar, during an epidemic it is important to call a doctor at the first sign of respiratory disease. This is important because both diseases can lead to dangerous complications including pneumonia. In mild form, Covid-19 is similar to the flu or any other acute respiratory viral infection. Therefore, many sick people do not even suspect that they have become carriers of a new virus.
There are also cases when the disease is asymptomatic. In 80% of cases of infection, the coronavirus is mild or even asymptomatic. At the same time, about 15% of cases occur in a severe form. And another 5% of infected people are in critically bad conditions (require ventilation of the lungs). These rates are higher than those of the flu. People with chronic diseases, with sick immune system, pregnant women and especially kids are an at-risk group of getting the flu.
With coronavirus, old age and accompanying diseases increase the risk of severe infection. There are also Complications Caused by a Coronavirus like bilateral pneumonia. With the flu, this phenomenon is much less common.
Both infections are transmitted from a sick person to other people by airborne droplets. You can get infected if someone sneezes or coughs near you. Or, you can catch the virus if you touch any surfaces after an infected person.
That is, on the one hand, direct transmission. On the other hand, the virus can remain viable for some time on the different surfaces. Influenza is transmitted in the first 3-5 days of illness. Coronavirus transmission takes less time – 24-48 hours or less. COVID-19 also has a higher number of secondary infections. The population group plays a key role. In the case of influenza, children are an important factor in the transmission of the virus. This is not typical for coronavirus infection. Children get infected from adults and get mild forms.
The fatality rate of the flu vs coronavirus varies greatly in percentage terms. The experts say that the death rate from COVID-19 is higher than from the flu. In the first case it is 3-4%, and the flu mortality is less than 0.1%.
Due to the statistics of how many people have died from the coronavirus and flu this year, the results are very sad. More than 940,000 people died from the coronavirus in a year.
The death rate from influenza was only about 60,000 cases per year. As seen in the swine flu vs coronavirus comparison, COVID-19 poses a much greater threat.
Comparing COVID-19 with previous pandemics
Since its inception, the coronavirus has had nearly 30 million cases. However, this is not the first major pandemic in the world. So how does the coronavirus compare to other illnesses? Let’s see. The most dangerous and large-scale mortality was the plague pandemic. During all the time, outbreaks of plague covered the whole world three times.
The mortality rate reached 10,000 cases per day. According to statistics, with each outbreak of the plague, there were about 34 million deaths. Besides, the third case of cholera was a major pandemic. This fatal intestinal infection is associated with unsanitary conditions. It took several million lives around the world. And the closest in symptoms and course of the disease to coronavirus is an influenza pandemic.
Namely, its most spread form is “Spanish flu”. According to flu statistics, more than 40 million people have died from the infection worldwide. According to coronavirus mortality rate vs flu for the last year, new Sars-cov-2 can exceed the Spanish flu. So that Comparing COVID-19 with previous pandemics we can see that it seems to be the most dangerous one, because it affected 30 million lives in only one year.
These numbers are truly horrifying. Sometimes it is even difficult to imagine that all this is happening to our world. Take care of yourself and your loved ones, follow safety measures. Many people ask, What Should I Do If I Have COVID-19? In this case, immediately go to self-isolation and seek medical help. Don’t endanger yourself and the whole world!