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Here’s a comparison of COVID-19 and influenza illness and death:

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Q: What is the difference COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) Compared to influenza?

A: Although there are some similarities between influenza and COVID-19 infection, They are not the same.. Both are contagious, caused by the respiratory virus and usually spread through close contact with the infected person.

Symptomatology is similar. People infected with COVID-19 or the flu may exhibit fever, cough, dyspnea, malaise, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and altered or lost taste and odor.

However, the timing of symptoms and the duration of the illness are different. People infected with influenza develop symptoms 1 to 4 days after exposure, while those infected with COVID-19 usually develop symptoms 2 to 14 days after exposure. People with the flu can be infected for up to 7 days, but people with COVID-19 can be infected longer. The difference in the asymptomatic time frame is important given the period during which infected people are more likely to unknowingly spread the virus to others.

Both can cause serious complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, organ failure, and death, but COVID-19 is more likely to have serious complications than influenza. Recent studies have reported a significant increased risk of serious complications from COVID-19 compared to influenza.

In a study published at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Weekly mortality and morbidity reports, COVID-19 inpatients were more than five times more at risk of in-hospital death than influenza inpatients. This risk was higher between blacks and Hispanics compared to white patients.

A study published in The Lancet also reported an increased risk of respiratory complications in all age groups. The authors of the study reported that hospitalization for children was lower with COVID-19 compared to influenza, but the risk of death for children was higher with those hospitalized with COVID-19.

To date, more than 33 million people have been infected with COVID-19 in the United States and more than 603,000 have died. By comparison, during the 2019-20 flu season in the United States, 38 million people got the flu and about 22,000 died. This is more than 25 times different between the two. Studies also suggest that the risk of COVID-19 complications increases while infected with influenza. The risk of death for people infected with both viruses is doubled.

Treatments for the two illnesses are also different. Although there are several antiviral treatment options for treating influenza, remdesivir is the only approved antiviral treatment option for COVID-19. Prevention is the best way to reduce the risk of both respiratory illnesses. Both have effective vaccines that reduce the likelihood of serious infections and can be prevented by masking, social distance and hand washing.

If you have symptoms, you should consider the test to make both a diagnosis and a distinction. Given the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 and the potential for a surge in winter, it is important to be vaccinated against COVID-19 now and plan to be vaccinated against influenza in the fall. I am.

Fernando Urego, MD, is a interim health officer at the Hamilton County Health Department and a member of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society.

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Contribution Photo / Dr. Fernando Urego

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Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/life/entertainment/story/2021/jul/13/heres-how-sickness-death-compare-between-covi/550294/

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