Influenza (flu) and Covid-19 have many similarities, here are some tips to help you distinguish them this flu season
7 October 2020| Last updated on 8 October 2020
Are you experiencing a running nose, headache, or fever? Maybe you've lost your sense of taste or smell?
With winter slowly approaching in the UAE, residents will be entering cold and flu season. A number of symptoms seem to be the same for a cold, Influenza (flu), seasonal allergies, and even the dreaded Covid-19 virus. So how can you tell the difference between a flu and Covid-19?
What are the similarities between Covid-19 and Influenza?
Both conditions are contagious respiratory illnesses and can cause the following health problems:
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (i.e. fluid in lungs)
- Organ failure, resulting in kidney failure, shock, etc.
- Respiratory failure
- Heart attack
- Inflammation of vital organs (brain, heart, or muscles)
- Worsening of chronic medical conditions (involving the lungs, heart, nervous system or diabetes)
What are the key differences between Covid-19 and the flu?
Although they can have several similarities, they are both are caused by different viruses.
You can get infected with Covid-19 due to an animal-related coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, whereas the common flu is caused by being infected with influenza viruses.
Here's how to can tell between the two:
Signs and Symptoms
Yes, Covid-19 can cause a few signs and symptoms similar to Influenza, but other SOS-signs your body may be giving that it's Coronavirus can include the loss of two senses: smell and taste.
Other complications linked with contracting Coronavirus can also include blood clots in the arteries and veins of the legs, brain, lungs, or heart, as well as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in kids.
The flu, on the other hand, typically only causes mild to severe illness that can be treated with over-the-counter medicine, a classic bowl of warm soup, or an appointment with your General Practitioner.
How soon will symptoms show?
For Covid-19, the time can vary but an infection person will usually develop symptoms 2 to 14 days after infection.
Influenza takes between 1 to 4 days to show.
How long can someone be contagious?
Coronavirus-positive individuals can remain contagious for around seven days after being infected. However, infants and those with chronic conditions can remain contagious for an extended period of time. The actual range is still being studied by health professionals worldwide.
The flu can easily be spread just one day before any symptoms can even present.
If you're experiencing symptoms and are worried about whether you have Covid-19 or Influenza, it's best to consult with you doctor. To find the nearest one to you, we have a directory of hospitals and clinics in Dubai, here.