The Central Michigan District Health Department has issued the following statement on the similarities and differences between influenza and COVID-19:
Similarities and differences between influenza and COVID-19
Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both infectious respiratory diseases, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), and influenza is caused by infection with the influenza virus.
Because some of the symptoms of influenza and COVID-19 are similar, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them by symptoms alone, and tests may be needed for diagnosis. Talk to your doctor if you feel sick.
More is being learned each day, so these comparisons can change if the best information available is available.
Signs and symptoms
Similarity: Both COVID-19 and influenza can show a variety of signs and symptoms, from asymptomatic (asymptomatic) to severe. Symptoms common to both diseases are:
Feel fever or fever / chills
Shortness of breath or dyspnea
Runny nose or stuffy nose
Muscle and body pain
the difference: Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19 that differ from influenza may include changes or loss of taste or odor.
Time of appearance of symptoms after exposure and infection
Similarity: With both COVID-19 and influenza, it can take a day or more after infection to begin to develop symptoms.
the difference: If you are infected with COVID-19, it may take longer for symptoms to appear than if you have the flu.
In the case of influenza, a person usually develops the symptoms of influenza 1 to 4 days after infection.
In the case of COVID-19, a person develops symptoms 5 days after infection, but symptoms can appear 2 days after infection or 14 days after infection.
The period during which someone can spread the virus
Similarity: Both COVID-19 and influenza can spread the virus for at least one day before symptoms appear.
the difference: If a person is infected with COVID-19, it can be transmitted for a longer period of time than if they have the flu.
Influenza is transmitted to most people for about a day before they show symptoms. Older children and adults with the flu appear to be most contagious during the first 3-4 days of the disease, but many remain contagious for about 7 days. Infants and people with weakened immunity can be infected longer.
COVID-19 is still under investigation for how long someone can spread the virus, but it could spread the virus two days before the onset of symptoms and continue to spread for at least 10 days after the first signs and symptoms appear. there is. If someone is asymptomatic or the symptoms disappear, it is possible to remain contagious for at least 10 days after a positive test.
How it spreads
Similarity: Both COVID-19 and influenza spread from person to person in close contact with each other (within about 6 feet). Both are spread primarily by droplets produced when a sick person is coughing, sneezing, or talking. These droplets can land on the mouth and nose of nearby or inhaled lungs. You can get infected by touching a person (such as shaking hands), touching a surface or object to which the virus is attached, and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
the difference: They spread in the same way, but COVID-19 is more contagious among certain populations and ages than influenza. COVID-19 has also been observed to cause more superspreader events than influenza.
People at high risk of severe illness
Similarity: Both COVID-19 and influenza illnesses can cause serious illness and complications. The highest risks are:
People with a particular underlying medical condition
the difference: For healthy children, the risk of complications is higher with influenza compared to COVID-19. However, babies and children with underlying illness are at increased risk of both influenza and COVID-19.
Younger children are at increased risk of serious illness from the flu.
Although rare, school-aged children infected with COVID-19 are at increased risk of multiple organ inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in their children.
Similarity: COVID-19 and influenza vaccines must be approved or approved for emergency use by the FDA.
the difference: Several FDA-approved influenza vaccines are produced each year to protect against the three or four influenza viruses that scientists predict to be distributed each year.
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Vaccine developers and other researchers are currently working on vaccines to prevent COVID-19.
For more information on comparing influenza to COVID-19, please visit the CDC page. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm.. If you are ill, contact your healthcare provider.