If you end up feeling below the climate with a fever, physique aches, and different signs, you could surprise what’s making you are feeling so unhealthy. Is it seasonal influenza (generally known as the flu)? Or may you have got COVID-19? Whereas the 2 sicknesses share many similarities, there are a number of 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 may cause you to get the widespread chilly. Flu, however, is brought on by the influenza virus. It is a seasonal virus with two varieties: Influenza A and Influenza B.
You may catch COVID-19 and the flu in comparable methods. When an individual talks, sneezes, or coughs, tiny, invisible particles go away their mouth and nostril and journey by the air. These particles are the place the virus can stay. If you happen to breathe in these particles, the virus is then inside your physique and might make you sick. Additionally, when you get the particles in your fingers after which contact your mouth, nostril, or eyes, you will get sick. For this reason it’s so vital to scrub your fingers ceaselessly.
COVID-19 is far more contagious than the flu. Which means it passes extra rapidly and simply from one particular person to a different.
Folks most in danger
Whereas anybody can get COVID-19 and the flu, some teams of persons are at a better 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 power circumstances.
Kids are additionally in danger for each COVID-19 and flu.
COVID-19 and the flu have most of the identical signs, together with:
- Hassle respiration.
- Excessive tiredness.
- Sore throat.
- Stuffy nostril.
- Physique aches, together with headache.
You might also lose your sense of odor or style if in case you have COVID-19.
COVID-19 and the flu may cause extreme sickness and problems that require hospitalization. You probably have any of those signs, contact your physician immediately. They will diagnose which sickness you have got and supply recommendation about what it is best to do subsequent.
How lengthy are you sick?
It’s potential to unfold COVID-19 and the flu to others earlier than you even know you’re sick. You probably have COVID-19, you may unfold the virus 2 days earlier than you have got signs. After signs start, you’re doubtless contagious for 10 days. It’s vital to steer clear of different individuals throughout this time to maintain them from getting sick. If you happen to’re round somebody who has COVID-19, it might probably take between 2 and 14 days so that you can develop signs.
With the flu, you may unfold it 1 day earlier than your signs start. After you have signs, you’re contagious for as much as 7 days. This time could be longer for teenagers and seniors. If you happen to’re uncovered to somebody with the flu, it might probably take between 1 and 4 days so that you can develop signs.
Persons are often sicker for an extended time period with COVID-19 than with the flu.
There are totally different exams that may affirm if in case you have COVID-19. Some exams require a cotton swab to be put in your nostril. The tip 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 might also be used for a speedy antigen take a look at, nevertheless, you could want to verify a constructive or adverse outcome with a laboratory (PCR) take a look at when you nonetheless have signs or when you want a adverse take a look at to return to highschool or work. A saliva take a look at could also be provided and at residence (over-the-counter) exams are additionally out there in some areas. Remember to examine that the take a look at is permitted by the FDA earlier than buying.
In case your physician thinks you have got the flu, they will carry out one in every of two exams. One take a look at includes placing a swab up your nostril. This swab will probably be despatched to the lab for testing. The opposite take a look at 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 out there for flu.
Laboratories have additionally developed exams that may detect each flu and COVID-19. Speak together with your physician to see if they’re out there in your space.
Three vaccines for COVID-19 have been approved for emergency use in america. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Comirnaty, was accredited by the FDA for people 16 years and older. This 2-dose shot continues to be is below emergency use authorization for kids ages 5-11 and adolescents ages 12-15. The Moderna vaccine (2 photographs) and Johnson & Johnson vaccine (1 shot) had been approved by the FDA for people 18 years and older. All three vaccines are really helpful 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 a minimum of one dose of vaccine. Some uncommon unintended effects have been noticed, however general the vaccines are secure and efficient at stopping extreme illness, hospitalization, and dying.
These vaccines don’t provide you with COVID-19, and don’t trigger problems throughout being pregnant or trigger decreases in fertility.
There’s a vaccine you will get to assist shield you towards the flu. It’s given as a shot in your arm. The American Academy of Household Physicians recommends everybody older than 6 months outdated get the yearly flu shot, except their physician says in any other case. If you happen to get the flu, there are medicines your physician can prescribe that can assist you relieve signs.
The flu shot doesn’t provide the flu.
If you happen to’ve had COVID-19, it could take you a very long time to get well or weeks earlier than you are feeling like your self once more. For some individuals, it could take months (often known as lengthy COVID). Speak together with your physician if in case you have signs that proceed, as there choices for administration of those ongoing signs.
Individuals who have had the flu often really feel significantly better about 2 weeks after getting sick.
Issues to contemplate
COVID-19 and the flu share many problems. These embody pneumonia, respiratory failure, kidney failure, and blood infections. These sicknesses may make present circumstances—together with points with the center, lungs, and diabetes—worse. In extreme instances, each sicknesses might result in dying.
You probably have COVID-19, you may additionally develop blood clots in your legs, lungs, coronary heart, or mind. Your possibilities for these unintended effects go up if in case you have coronary heart illness, lung illness, or diabetes. Some kids develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome. It is a severe situation, nevertheless it isn’t quite common.
If you happen to’ve had the flu, you could develop a sinus an infection or an ear an infection. You might also get pneumonia, which could be severe. Extreme unintended effects are extra widespread in people who find themselves youthful than 5 years outdated or older than 65 years outdated, pregnant, or who’ve bronchial asthma, diabetes, or coronary heart illness.
CDC: Coronavirus Self-Checker (click on on self-check signs on the fitting aspect)
Familydoctor.org: Coronavirus Illness 2019 (COVID-19)
CDC: Forestall Seasonal Flu
Familydoctor.org: Stopping the Flu