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Is it the flu or covid-19? Experts on how to distinguish between symptoms

Health & FitnessIs it the flu or covid-19? Experts on how to distinguish between symptoms

Flu And Covid-19, both are respiratory diseases, with symptoms similar to those of fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, and how they are spread – by coughing, sneezing or touching an infected object. Therefore, you may not know early whether you are suffering from flu or covid-19. The best way to know for sure is to get tested without delay. The main difference between the two is that flu and covid-19 are caused by different viruses. CoVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, while influenza viruses are responsible for the flu. The flu can cause severe symptoms in the elderly, while Covid-19 can cause severe illness even in people who are not in vulnerable groups. Covid can affect more people than the flu and the onset of symptoms is slightly slower. The good thing is that there is a vaccine for both infections and shots should be taken to prevent these infections. (Also read: Common Covid symptoms in fully vaccinated people you should know about)

We spoke to experts on the difference between flu and CoVID-19 symptoms and here’s what they had to say.

“Flu and Covid-19 are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. The symptoms of flu and Covid-19 can be similar, such as fever, cough and fatigue, but there are some important differences. General It typically causes more severe symptoms in the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, while Covid-19 can cause severe illness in people of all ages,” said Dr. Shalini Joshi, Senior Consultant-Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital Bannerghatta. Road, Bangalore says.

Different viruses

Dr Rohit says, “Covid-19 and flu (influenza) are infectious diseases of the respiratory tract. They differ from each other in many aspects. They are caused by two different viruses, namely SARS-CoV-2 and influenza respectively. virus,” says Dr. Rohit. Kumar Garg, Consultant, Department of Infectious Diseases, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad.

Loss of taste or smell

Dr. Joshi says that Covid-19 can cause a loss of taste or smell, which is not a symptom of the flu.

Dr. Garg says, “Though symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea etc. are common and common to both, Covid patients experience loss of smell, loss of taste. may also be encountered,” says Dr. Garg.

Onset of symptoms

“The time to onset of symptoms from viral exposure is shorter for the flu (1-4 days) and slightly longer for Covid (2-14 days). An exposed person can develop SARS CoV 2-3 days before symptoms begin. -2 virus starts spreading, whereas in flu, patients start spreading 1 day before symptoms,” says Dr. Garg.

Which is more contagious?

“Patients remain contagious for longer after covid than with the flu. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is more contagious than the flu virus, meaning it can infect many patients at a time, whereas the flu can infect only one patient at a time. Only 1-2 patients, says Dr Garg.

Symptoms and complications in CoVID-19

“A Covid patient may also experience blood clots and the formation of cytokine release syndrome, in addition to other complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, multi-organ failure, or sepsis. “SARS CoV-2 virus can cause serious complications even in healthy people,” says Dr. Garg. can cause, unlike the flu, which usually causes serious complications in patients with comorbid conditions.”

“It’s important to take proper precautions to protect yourself and others from both viruses. The best way to prevent both is to get vaccinated, and practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently. and avoiding close contact with sick people. The flu (influenza) is caused by a virus and most people get better on their own, but it can cause serious problems in high-risk patients. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for people with chronic health conditions such as the elderly, diabetes, liver and kidney problems, or a weakened immune system. A doctor’s consultation is recommended because the symptoms are quite similar. It is important that appropriate tests are done for diagnosis and early treatment by healthcare professionals,” says Dr. Shalini Joshi.

“Specific antiviral treatments and vaccines exist for SARS CoV-2 and influenza viruses. Despite these differences, key preventive strategies, namely social distancing, use of face masks, cough etiquette, hand hygiene and vaccination, both Dr. Rohit Kumar Garg says that because of the similarities in the mode of transmission and route of infection, as well as the availability of effective vaccines against both.

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