This blog post compares and contrasts the 2019 coronavirus and flu. Read our article to learn the similarities and differences between the viruses, and how you can protect yourself and those around you.
How are the coronavirus and the flu similar?
Studies show COVID-19 and the flu both to be caused by a virus. The influenza virus causes while the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes the coronavirus. The symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are very similar. COVID-19 and the flu are respiratory viruses, meaning that they primarily affect your lungs and respiratory system.
Both can be transmitted through sneezing or coughing. COVID-19 and flu can cause a fever, body aches, fatigue, and more. You may feel congested or have a runny nose. Studies have shown COVID-19 to cause pneumonia in some cases. COVID-19 can be mild or severe but very rarely fatal.
Neither can be treated with antibiotics, but medication can be used to control and treat specific symptoms of each virus. For example, medication prescribed or given to help treat a fever or specific respiratory symptoms such as congestion or runny nose.
How are they different?
COVID-19 is caused by a specific virus, the 2019 coronavirus. The flu, on the other hand, is caused by a large number of different influenza viruses all under the umbrella term “flu.”
The flu shot helps prevent the influenza virus. Medical professionals recommend receiving a flu vaccine every year before the start of the flu season (around late fall) to protect yourself from the influenza virus. COVID-19 does not have a vaccine at this time.
Another difference between COVID-19 and the flu is the severity. The fatality rate is quite different between these viruses. Contrary to what many people believe, COVID-19 is less severe and less deadly than the flu. COVID-19 has infected around 92,000 people worldwide, while the flu has infected over a billion people worldwide. Around 3000 people have died from COVID-19 around the world since late 2019. Meanwhile, between 12,000 and 60,000 flu deaths occur in the United States alone each year.
What can you do to protect yourself from these viruses?
The prevention techniques for coronavirus and flu are very similar. Using hand sanitizer and washing your hands frequently are good everyday actions that can help lower your risk of both viruses. When washing your hands, use warm water and soap. Scrub for at least 20 seconds then rinse. Use the techniques demonstrated in the depiction.
Avoid contact with people who you know are sick. Try not to touch your eyes, mouth, and nose as much as possible. If you must come into contact with your face, wash your hands using the technique described above, or use hand sanitizer if you have no other option. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, and dispose of the tissue as soon as possible in a sanitary manner. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds after coughing/sneezing. Clean/disinfect thoroughly and often in places where people frequently hang out or touch things.