If you end up feeling underneath the climate with a fever, physique aches, and different signs, chances are you’ll surprise what’s making you are feeling so dangerous. Is it seasonal influenza (generally known as the flu)? Or may you might have COVID-19? Whereas the 2 diseases share many similarities, there are just a few variations.
Path to improved well being
COVID-19 and the flu are each brought on by viruses. However they’re brought on by totally different viruses. COVID-19 is brought on by the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses have been round for a very long time and coronaviruses could cause you to get the widespread chilly. Flu, however, is brought on by the influenza virus. It is a seasonal virus with two sorts: Influenza A and Influenza B.
You possibly can catch COVID-19 and the flu in comparable methods. When an individual talks, sneezes, or coughs, tiny, invisible particles depart their mouth and nostril and journey by means of the air. These particles are the place the virus can stay. When you breathe in these particles, the virus is then inside your physique and may make you sick. Additionally, in the event you get the particles in your palms after which contact your mouth, nostril, or eyes, you will get sick. That is why it’s so essential to scrub your palms incessantly.
COVID-19 is far more contagious than the flu. Which means it passes extra rapidly and simply from one particular person to a different.
Individuals most in danger
Whereas anybody can get COVID-19 and the flu, some teams of persons are at the next threat of getting sick. For each COVID-19 and flu, adults over 65, people who find themselves pregnant, individuals with lung illness, coronary heart illness, or diabetes have a higher threat. Learn extra about flu dangers for individuals with continual circumstances.
Youngsters are additionally in danger for each COVID-19 and flu.
COVID-19 and the flu have most of the identical signs, together with:
- Bother respiration.
- Excessive tiredness.
- Sore throat.
- Stuffy nostril.
- Physique aches, together with headache.
You might also lose your sense of scent or style you probably have COVID-19.
COVID-19 and the flu could cause extreme sickness and issues that require hospitalization. When you have any of those signs, contact your physician immediately. They will diagnose which sickness you might have and supply recommendation about what you must do subsequent.
How lengthy are you sick?
It’s attainable to unfold COVID-19 and the flu to others earlier than you even know you’re sick. When you have COVID-19, you possibly can unfold the virus 2 days earlier than you might have signs. After signs start, you’re possible contagious for 10 days. It’s essential to keep away from different individuals throughout this time to maintain them from getting sick. When you’re round somebody who has COVID-19, it may possibly take between 2 and 14 days so that you can develop signs.
With the flu, you possibly can unfold it 1 day earlier than your signs start. Upon getting signs, you’re contagious for as much as 7 days. This time could be longer for teenagers and seniors. When you’re uncovered to somebody with the flu, it may possibly take between 1 and 4 days so that you can develop signs.
Individuals are normally sicker for an extended time frame with COVID-19 than with the flu.
There are totally different exams that may affirm you probably have COVID-19. Some exams require a cotton swab to be put in your nostril. The top of the swab collects a pattern out of your nasal cavity as a result of that is the place the germs stay. The swab is then despatched to a laboratory for testing. The swab can also be used for a fast antigen check, nevertheless, chances are you’ll want to substantiate a constructive or damaging consequence with a laboratory (PCR) check in the event you nonetheless have signs or in the event you want a damaging check to return to high school or work. A saliva check could also be provided and at dwelling (over-the-counter) exams are additionally accessible in some areas. Make sure you test that the check is allowed by the FDA earlier than buying.
In case your physician thinks you might have the flu, they’ll carry out one among two exams. One check includes placing a swab up your nostril. This swab shall be despatched to the lab for testing. The opposite check includes accumulating a pattern from the again of your throat. It will likely be despatched to the lab for testing, too. Fast exams are additionally accessible for flu.
Laboratories have additionally developed exams that may detect each flu and COVID-19. Discuss along with your physician to see if they’re accessible in your space.
Three vaccines for COVID-19 have been licensed for emergency use in the US. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Comirnaty, was authorized by the FDA for people 16 years and older. This 2-dose shot continues to be is underneath emergency use authorization for kids ages 5-11 and adolescents ages 12-15. The Moderna vaccine (2 pictures) and Johnson & Johnson vaccine (1 shot) had been licensed by the FDA for people 18 years and older. All three vaccines are beneficial by the CDC and given as a shot in your arm.
Security and efficacy information has been collected in over 220 million individuals who have gotten at the very least one dose of vaccine. Some uncommon uncomfortable side effects have been noticed, however total the vaccines are secure and efficient at stopping extreme illness, hospitalization, and loss of life.
These vaccines don’t provide you with COVID-19, and don’t trigger issues throughout being pregnant or trigger decreases in fertility.
There’s a vaccine you will get to assist defend you in opposition to the flu. It’s given as a shot in your arm. The American Academy of Household Physicians recommends everybody older than 6 months previous get the yearly flu shot, until their physician says in any other case. When you get the flu, there are medicines your physician can prescribe that will help you relieve signs.
The flu shot doesn’t provide the flu.
When you’ve had COVID-19, it might take you a very long time to get better or weeks earlier than you are feeling like your self once more. For some individuals, it might take months (often known as lengthy COVID). Discuss along with your physician you probably have signs that proceed, as there choices for administration of those ongoing signs.
Individuals who have had the flu normally really feel significantly better about 2 weeks after getting sick.
Issues to think about
COVID-19 and the flu share many issues. These embrace pneumonia, respiratory failure, kidney failure, and blood infections. These diseases may also make present circumstances—together with points with the center, lungs, and diabetes—worse. In extreme circumstances, each diseases could result in loss of life.
When you have COVID-19, you might also develop blood clots in your legs, lungs, coronary heart, or mind. Your possibilities for these uncomfortable side effects go up you probably have coronary heart illness, lung illness, or diabetes. Some kids develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome. It is a critical situation, however it isn’t quite common.
When you’ve had the flu, chances are you’ll develop a sinus an infection or an ear an infection. You might also get pneumonia, which could be critical. Extreme uncomfortable side effects are extra widespread in people who find themselves youthful than 5 years previous or older than 65 years previous, pregnant, or who’ve bronchial asthma, diabetes, or coronary heart illness.
CDC: Coronavirus Self-Checker (click on on self-check signs on the precise facet)
CDC: COVID-19 Signs
Familydoctor.org: Coronavirus Illness 2019 (COVID-19)
CDC: Forestall Seasonal Flu
Familydoctor.org: Stopping the Flu