• October 10, 2020
  • 5 minutes read

The Difference Between Flu And Corona Virus: 5 Things You Need To Learn From Experts

The Difference Between Flu And Corona Virus: 5 Things You Need To Learn From Experts


Corona Virus took the world by surprise being the worst pandemic to put the globe on tension like no other with millions of people infected by the deadly virus  and on top of being deadly, it spreads like wildfire.

Due to the similar signs and symptoms to the common flu and cough the world is used to, some people are not sure whether they have the common flu or the deadly Corona-virus, not sure which is worse? here are the simple ways to tell the difference.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Influenza (flu) and Covid-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses, there are key differences between in how the viruses spread and how symptoms appear.

You have a cough and a fever, you think it’s probably the flu, but with more than 7.5 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, there’s a chance it could also be Covid-19.


There are several key differences, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among them: Covid-19 seems to spread more easily than the flu and causes more-serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer for people to show Covid-19 symptoms, and many people are contagious for longer.

The symptoms of both viruses are similar, however, this makes it hard to tell the difference based on symptoms alone, according to the CDC, which says diagnostic testing is the best way to determine whether you are sick with the flu or Covid-19.

Here are five things to know on the differences between Covid-19 and the flu:

The Symptoms

Both Covid-19 and the flu have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms shared by Covid-19 and the flu share include:

Fever or feeling feverish/chills


Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


Sore throat

Runny or stuffy nose

Muscle pain or body aches


Vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

The difference is Covid-19 seems to cause more-serious illnesses in some people, the CDC says, other signs and symptoms of Covid-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.

With both viruses, a day or more can pass before an infected person starts to experience symptoms. Typically, though, it takes coronavirus symptoms longer to appear.

With the flu, a person usually develops symptoms anywhere from one to four days after infection. Covid-19 symptoms usually take longer to appear; a person typically develops Covi-19 symptoms five days after being infected, though symptoms can appear as early as two days or as late as 14 days after infection.

How Long You’re Contagious

For both Covid-19 and flu, it’s possible to spread the virus at least one day before experiencing any symptoms.
With the flu, older children and adults tend to be most contagious during the initial three to four days of illness, and many remain contagious for about seven days. Infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for even longer.

How long someone can spread Covid-19 is still under investigation. Currently, it’s possible for people to spread the virus about two days before experiencing signs or symptoms, and many remain contagious for at least 10 days after signs or symptoms first appeared.

How The Viruses Spread

Both Covid-19 and the flu can spread from person to person, mostly between people who are in close contact with one another. Both are spread mainly by droplets created when infected people cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of nearby people and can possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

While Covid-19 and flu viruses are thought to spread in similar ways, Covid-19 is more contagious among certain populations and age groups than flu.

The Complications

Both Covid-19 and flu can result in complications, including:


Respiratory failure

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (i.e., fluid in lungs)


Cardiac injury (i.e., heart attacks and stroke)

Multiple-organ failure

Worsening of chronic medical conditions

Inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues

Secondary bacterial infections

Additional complications associated with COVID-19 can include:

Blood clots in the veins and arteries of the lungs, heart, legs or brain

Multi system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

Treatments And Vaccines

There are prescription influenza antiviral drugs used to treat flu. People who are hospitalized with the flu or at high risk of developing complications should be treated with antiviral drugs as soon as possible.

While remdesivir is available for Covid-19 treatment under an Emergency Use Authorization, there are currently no drugs or other therapeutics approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent or treat the disease. Studies are in progress to learn more.

As for a vaccine, there are multiple Food and Drug Administration( FDA)-licensed influenza vaccines produced annually to protect against the main flu viruses that scientists anticipate will circulate each year. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent Covid-19, though multiple drug makers are in the process of creating one.

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