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What Is the Difference Between COVID-19 and the Seasonal Flu?


What Is the Difference Between COVID-19 and the Seasonal Flu?
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Given that monsoons are going to arrive in Maharashtra soon, flu and other minor ailments are likely to appear. Given that we live in the times of COVID-19, having proper information on this front can be very helpful. How can one determine between a regular passing cold or flu and something as serious as the coronavirus? We’ll discuss a few ways below.

Depending on what you have, the symptoms and incubation period will vary somewhat. This is why it’s important to know your symptoms well before rushing to personal conclusions. 

Incubation period:

COVID-19 has an average incubation period of 2 to 14 days depending on factors like age and co-morbidities. The flu, on the other hand, has an incubation period of 1-4 days.

The WHO also mentions that it can take up to 5-6 days after getting infected for COVID-19 symptoms to appear. 

Symptom onset:

The coronavirus can take form rapidly in some individuals, but on average, the onset of the virus is gradual. Meaning the symptoms won’t arrive all at once. 

With something like the flu, the onset is immediate and abrupt. Meaning you will see the standard symptoms, as well as fever, diarrhoea, and other flu-related symptoms almost immediately. The flu only lasts up to a week after you have caught it, depending on your immune system.

Here are some of the common, uncommon, and serious symptoms of the coronavirus as per the World Health Organization (WHO):

Most common:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Tiredness/Exhaustion

Less common:

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • conjunctivitis
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • A rash on the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes

Serious symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Loss of speech or movement
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