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Coronavirus VS Flu: How To Identify The Difference?

May 21, 2020 0 Comments

The coronavirus and the flu have quite similar symptoms. From runny nose to fever, sore throat, and congested chest, all these symptoms will appear in both, the coronavirus affected patient and a flu sufferer. While it is completely true that both have the potential to cause mild to severe illnesses and the viruses are respiratory in nature. You also have to take note that according to the CDC influenza is caused by flu A and flu B viruses. Whereas the COVID-19 is caused by a new type of flu A virus. This virus is different from the existing viruses that cause seasonal flu. So, how can someone learn whether he has the coronavirus or the flu? Read on to find out.

The Viruses Belong To Two Different Families

Scientifically speaking both the viruses are somewhat similar in nature. The RNA surrounding the viruses have a similar composition. The only difference is that of the outer protein layer causing the immune response. The outer layer has two different pathogens. These pathogens can cause the virus to behave in a particular manner. Perhaps the reason why it is easier to recover from the impact of influenza. 

Also, you have to keep in mind that the appearance of the viruses is very different. Coronavirus appears crown-like under magnification and the proteins on the outer layer interact differently with the cells in your body. In fact, the types of viruses associated with the coronavirus are closely related to the ones causing respiratory infections. So, it is safe to say that COVID-19 has a closer relation to SARS and MERS than influenza. 

We Know A Lot Of Things About Influenza

The coronavirus is new to us, but the Influenza or the flu dates back to 1993. Scientists and researchers have long searched about the virus and they know how it interacts with the human body. Not only this but we all know how the virus works when it affects, and who is more susceptible to its effect. 

Influenza is a seasonal flu and it mostly affects people between the fall and winter season. Only pregnant women, young kids, and older people are more susceptible to this virus. Mainstream doctors are of the view that you can treat influenza with the help of effective treatment plans. Most doctors will provide medicines in order to treat the symptoms of influenza. Although you can treat the mild symptoms by taking rest. The effects of influenza will wear off in 5-7 days and a healthy immune system is quite adept at fighting back. 

In contrast, so far we have heard nothing about the viruses’ seasonal nature. In fact, we have entered the month of May and the cases are constantly rising. So far, the US has 1,527,664 confirmed cases of the virus out of which 346,389 have already recovered. This is to say that there are no seasonal elements here, but people who are at high risk of contracting the virus include elderlies or have underlying medical conditions. 

That said, you also have to keep in mind that scientists are still learning a lot of things about the virus. Every week the medical community learns new things about the coronavirus. Only recently it was found out that loss of taste, smell, and rashes are also major symptoms of the coronavirus. 

The Transferrable Nature Of The Coronavirus

One of the heated topics of discussions about the coronavirus is how fast can the virus spread. The researchers believe that the R-Naught factor decides how many other people can get the coronavirus. For seasonal flu or influenza, the R0 rises from 0.9 to 2.1. Simply put, if you are mildly affected by the virus, you can easily spread the virus to one or two individuals. However, most reports suggest that the average R0 for the COVID-9 goes up to 3.87. This means that a single coronavirus patient can affect between 3-4 people. In comparison to influenza, the R0 rate is quite high and people are more infectious to the coronavirus than the seasonal flu. 

You must have noticed that patients with coronavirus have a longer period of incubation period. The incubation period for influenza is quite short. Ideally, it lasts between 5-6 days, sometimes even shorter. With COVID-19 the period can last up to 15 days or more. This is why people are at higher risk of contracting the virus. 

Asymptomatic Transmissions

At the onset of the virus, we were only worried about staying away from patients who get affected. Several Rules and guidelines were issued, the world was turned into a giant prison, and social distancing became the key to affect the virus. However, as people learned more about the virus, reports regarding its asymptomatic nature started to appear everywhere. In simple words, asymptomatic means that a patient carrying the coronavirus with no or very little symptoms can easily transmit the virus to susceptible people. 

According to a report, 41 percent of the people can spread the virus without even knowing about it. This also means that if an old person or a person with an underlying condition comes in contact with the asymptomatic patient, that person is most likely to get affected by the virus. On the other hand, if you have a common cold or the flu, you will show symptoms with no asymptomatic carriers. 

In fact, we all feel pretty miserable after getting affected by the flu. Whereas asymptomatics show no sign of fever or cold. Which, in turn, is a great concern for our medical community and the authorities. However, social distancing can help curb the spread of the virus. And it is an effective solution to this problem. Also, if you think that fever is one of the major symptoms of the coronavirus, you are highly mistaken. So far, the medical community has reported that more and more patients are coming up with symptoms such as loss of taste, cough, and skin rashes. This also means that not everyone with corona gets a fever and respiratory illnesses appear quite late. The virus is inconsistent when compared to seasonal flu. 

COVID-9 Is A Deadly Pandemic

You might wonder, you already know a lot of things about the virus. However, trust me, some people still take things lightly. They think that people have learned to blow things out of proportion. Some people believe that the virus can be treated with the help of medical marijuana. To be honest, medical marjuana cannot treat COVID-19. You can get in touch with medical marijuana doctors in NY or any other marijuana expert to find the same. Also, Yes, I understand that staying calm is quite necessary, but ignoring the rising toll deaths can prove bad for someone at high risk in your family. 

Early reports from China showed the death rate at 3 percent. Currently, the death rate for the US ranges from 1.3 to 2.5 percent. This means that one in 50 gets the infection. You also might wonder that the rate is not high, but when you compare it to the seasonal flu, the rate definitely surpassed all expectations. For seasonal flu, the percentage of death rate lies between 0-0.10 percent. That means one in 1,000 patients get affected by the seasonal flu. All in all, this proves why this pandemic is more deadly than influenza.