Influenza and „COVID-19”

Influenza and „COVID-19”

What are the similarities and differences between the flu and COVID-19?

Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by a variety of viruses.

The cause of coronavirus is SARS-CoV-2 infection, while influenza is an acute infectious disease caused by viruses A and B. There are some important differences between them. The coronavirus spreads more easily and causes more serious complications in some people. The disease is silent until the symptoms appear, so for most people, before the symptoms start - for example, high fever, it is already contagious.

Because the symptoms of influenza and COVID-19 are not very different from each other, it is difficult to differentiate them, so PCR testing is needed to confirm the diagnosis.

As already mentioned, coronavirus and flu can have different degrees of signs and symptoms.

Common symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza are:

  • Fever or chills;
  • Feeling cold;
  • Cough;
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
  • Fatigue;
  • Sore throat;
  • Rash;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Headache.

Some may have vomiting and diarrhea, however, this is more common in children than in adults.

 Symptoms of influenza

It usually appears suddenly. Sick people often experience some or all of the symptoms:

  • Heat/chill;
  • Cough;
  • Sore throat;
  • Nasal congestion;
  • Pain in the joints;
  • Headache;
  • General weakness.

It is important to note that, not all individuals with A and B viruses will have a high fever.

Symptoms of „COVID-19”

People diagnosed with coronavirus may have a wide range of symptoms - from mild symptoms to severe illness. The listed symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever or chills;
  • Cough;
  • Shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing;
  • Chronic fatigue;
  • Weakness;
  • Muscle and/or joint pain;
  • Headache;
  • Loss of taste or smell;
  • Sore throat;
  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea.

Of course, the list of symptoms is incomplete as SARS-CoV-2 continues to mutate and we are also examining it step by step.

Any person can have mild to severe symptoms.

Older people who have serious medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, are at higher risk.

Unlike adults, the infection is milder in children. Symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Recklessness;
  • Shortness of breath.

With winter approaching, the question becomes increasingly relevant - what will cause simultaneous infection with influenza and coronavirus? In the presence of both viruses at the same time, it is expected that respiratory failure will be more severe, and respiratory failure will be exacerbated by intermittent infection with these viruses. However, it is impossible to give an exact answer at this stage, as sufficient studies on COVID-19 have not yet been performed.

As already mentioned, today, the gold standard of diagnosis is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method.

Because specific antiviral treatment has not yet been officially approved, treatment tactics for patients infected with Covid depend on the severity of the disease.

 To avoid complications, it is necessary to take into account the recommendations of the Government of Georgia and the WHO (World Health Organization).

Standard recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection

  • Avoid contact with people with respiratory infections;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and use an alcohol-based disinfectant if you do not have access to them;
  • Avoid unprotected contact with wild animals;
  • Follow cough etiquette;
  • Do not use common items (dishes, towels, items, telephone);
  • Ventilate the room often;
  • Thoroughly clean frequently touched surfaces;
  • Do not take antibiotics or other medications without a doctor's prescription;
  • Avoid lying on your back during the flu or cough;
  • In case of a sharp deterioration in health, contact a family doctor or the hotline of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health, and Social Affairs of Georgia 15 05.

During a global pandemic, the social responsibility of each person is important.

Wish you health!