A cough associated with the coronavirus tends to be dry. Coronavirus (COVID-19). Only one antiviral drug, called remdesivir, is currently approved to treat COVID-19. © 1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. The seasonal flu virus and SARS-CoV-2 can present with similar symptoms: both seasonal influenza strains (flu A and flu B) and SARS-CoV-2 are contagious viruses that cause respiratory illnesses in humans. Both COVID-19 and the flu can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, organ failure, heart attacks, heart or brain inflammation, stroke, and death. This means the virus that causes COVID-19 can quickly and easily spread to a lot of people and result in continuous spreading among people as time progresses. Flu. So what is the relative risk of dying from COVID-19 vs. the flu? https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. Typically, a person develops symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection. Studies are in progress to learn more. CDC COVID-19 data tracker. Mayo Clinic's single, streamlined process for patients being tested for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, Coronavirus vs flu Similarities and differences, Advertising and sponsorship opportunities, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Nausea or vomiting, but this is more common in children than in adults, Avoiding large events and mass gatherings, Avoiding close contact (within 6 feet, or 2 meters) with anyone outside your household, especially if you have a higher risk of serious illness, Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, Wearing a cloth face mask when you're in public spaces, such as the grocery store, where it's difficult to avoid close contact with others, Covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, electronics and counters, daily. Fact Check: Flu Deaths vs. COVID-19 Deaths Alexis Rivas 9/25/2020. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. COVID-19 seems to cause more serious illnesses in some people. Vaccines for COVID-19 and flu must be approved or authorized for emergency use (EUA) by the FDA. But given it's also the flu season, how can you be sure whether you have coronavirus, a cold or the flu? The flu vaccine can also reduce the severity of the flu and the risk of serious complications. COVID-19: Adult. More information about differences between flu and COVID-19 is available in the different sections below. Both Spanish flu and COVID-19 manifest as "influenza-like illnesses," with fever, muscle aches, headache, and respiratory symptoms most common, Dr. … While some people start showing COVID-19 … Other differences include length of time between infection and symptoms and how long the symptoms last. With COVID-19, you may experience loss of taste or smell. Read more about Mayo Clinic's single, streamlined process for patients being tested for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Track the latest COVID-19 trends on the U.S. coronavirus map. Belongia EA, et al. Here's what makes them different. Additional complications associated with COVID-19 can include: People at high-risk of complications or who have been hospitalized for COVID-19 or flu should receive supportive medical care to help relieve symptoms and complications. Nov. 10, 2020. Researchers are evaluating many drugs and treatments for COVID-19. To receive weekly email updates about Seasonal Flu, enter your email address: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The US death toll from coronavirus this year has now exceeded 62,000, surpassing the high-end estimate for flu deaths. Can COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread through food, water, surfaces and pets? : Goats and Soda There are definitely similarities between COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus, and influenza. COVID … Journal of Korean Medical Science. Cold and flu season has officially arrived. Another difference is that the flu can be treated with antiviral drugs. People who become seriously ill from either disease may need to stay in the hospital at the same time, which could cause the hospitals to become full. Accessed Dec. 21, 2020. If this happens, people could become ill with one or both diseases at the same time. COVID-19 (also termed the Wuhan coronavirus, 2019 novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, and others) is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA coronavirus. The CDC published a new research paper conclusively stating that COVID-19 is deadlier than the flu. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. The viruses spread through respiratory droplets or aerosols released through talking, sneezing or coughing. The diseases can also cause no symptoms or mild or severe symptoms. Flu season in North America typically occurs between October and May. In fact, some research has found that following these measures, such as social distancing and wearing a face mask, may have helped shorten the length of the flu season and lessened the number of people affected in the 2019-2020 flu season. They can both spread between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet, or 2 meters). You will be subject to the destination website's privacy policy when you follow the link. The good news is you can take the same steps to reduce your risk of infection from the viruses that cause COVID-19, the flu and other respiratory infections by following several standard precautions. Coronavirus cases tend to develop more gradually than the flu. Influenza (the flu) and COVID-19, the illness caused by the pandemic coronavirus, are both contagious respiratory illnesses, meaning they affect your lungs and breathing, and can be spread to others. Other vaccines to prevent COVID-19 are still under development. However, there are also key differences. If someone is asymptomatic or their symptoms go away, it’s possible to remain contagious for at least 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell. For both COVID-19 and flu, it’s possible to spread the virus for at least 1 day before experiencing any symptoms. Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization and proceeds from Web advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic. AskMayoExpert. The flu and COVID-19 are both highly-contagious respiratory illnesses, but they’re caused by different viruses. That is one of the biggest differences between the two right now: A flu vaccine exists, whereas a COVID-19 vaccine does not. It is a new strain of coronavirus (the term corona means crown ) responsible for causing a pandemic of serious respiratory problems that started in … While COVID-19 and influenza (the flu) share certain symptoms—fever, cough and nausea, for example—they are different viruses and they behave differently in the body. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed guidance on treatment of COVID-19external icon, which will be regularly updated as new evidence on treatment options emerges. Typically, a person develops symptoms 5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. All rights reserved. The flu vaccine doesn't protect you from getting COVID-19. The viruses that cause COVID-19 and the flu spread in similar ways. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_totalcases. The reason for this, infectious disease experts say, lies in how similarly COVID-19 and the flu are transmitted and, therefore, prevented. There are multiple FDA-licensed influenza vaccines produced annually to protect against the 3 or 4 flu viruses that scientists anticipate will circulate each year. COVID-19 seems to spread more easily and leads to a more serious illness than the flu. Both COVID-19 and flu illness can result in severe illness and complications. While remdesivir is an antiviral agent that is being explored as a treatment for COVID-19 and is available under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), there are currently no drugs or other therapeutics approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent or treat COVID-19. Two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use by the FDA under an EUA. Mayo Clinic offers flu shots in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. COVID-19 and the flu have several differences. If a person has COVID-19, they may be contagious for a longer period of time than if they had flu. A vaccine might prevent you from getting COVID-19 or prevent you from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 if you get the COVID-19 virus. Another important distinction is that COVID-19 symptoms usually appear more gradually than flu symptoms. Washer says that in many settings, the only way to tell the difference between COVID and influenza … COVID-19 (coronavirus) in babies and children, COVID-19 (coronavirus) stigma: What it is and how to reduce it. Influenza (flu). COVID-19 can cause different complications from the flu, such as blood clots and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Accessed Dec. 9, 2020. People at High Risk for Flu Complications. Both are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the illness (COVID-19 or flu) cough, sneeze, or talk. Because COVID-19 and the flu have similar symptoms, it can be hard to diagnose which condition you have based on your symptoms alone. The overall hospitalization rate in the U.S. for flu 2019 - 2020 flu season was about 69 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. How long someone can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 is still under investigation. It's possible that the viruses that cause COVID-19 and the flu may spread in your community at the same time during the flu season. Influenza Surveillance Report (FluView), Past Flu Seasons Flu Forecasting Accuracy Results, Tools to Prepare Your Practice for Flu Season, Information for Clinicians on Influenza Virus Testing, Multiplex Assays Authorized for Simultaneous Detection of Influenza Viruses and SARS-CoV-2, Information on Collection of Respiratory Specimens for Influenza Virus Testing, Information for Clinicians on Rapid Diagnostic Testing for Influenza, Information on Rapid Molecular Assays, RT-PCR, and other Molecular Assays for Diagnosis of Influenza Virus Infection, Algorithm: Interpreting Influenza Testing Results When Influenza is Circulating, Algorithm: Interpreting Influenza Testing Results When Influenza is NOT Circulating, Guide: Influenza Diagnostic Testing in Closed Setting Outbreaks, Guidance: Standard-Based Electronic Laboratory Reporting, Guidance: Antiviral and Obstetric Health Care, Guidance: Outbreak Management in Long-Term Care Facilities, Guidance: Use of Mask to Control Influenza Transmission, Guidance: Prevention & Control in Peri- and Postpartum Settings, Health Professional References & Resources, Responding to Problems with Purchasing Needles for Flu Vaccination, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults, People with certain underlying medical conditions, Acute respiratory distress syndrome (fluid in the lungs), Cardiac injury (for example, heart attacks and stroke), Multiple-organ failure (respiratory failure, kidney failure, shock), Worsening of chronic medical conditions (involving the lungs, heart, or nervous system or diabetes), Inflammation of the heart, brain, or muscle tissues, Secondary bacterial infections (infections that occur in people who have already been infected with flu or COVID-19), Blood clots in the veins and arteries of the lungs, heart, legs or brain. These droplets can land in the mouth or nose of someone nearby or be inhaled. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include: Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms listed above. COVID-19 and the flu are caused by different viruses. Record numbers of Covid-19 cases are being confirmed across the UK. But coronavirus has killed at a much faster rate. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer. Also, since the flu has been around much longer, doctors know more about how to treat and prevent it, while they continue to learn more about COVID-19. However, infants and children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for both flu and COVID-19. Severe illness such as lung injury is more frequent with COVID-19 than with influenza. COVID-19 vs. the flu: What’s the difference between these two viruses? Both flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 may be spread to others by people before they begin showing symptoms; by people with very mild symptoms; and by people who never developed symptoms (asymptomatic). https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/emergency-use-authorization#coviddrugs. You can also have both diseases at the same time. How COVID-19, flu, cold, and allergies manifest and progress. However, it is possible to have the virus and not experience a fever. 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. Swine flu was a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus that emerged in the spring of 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after exposure. COVID-19 and the flu cause similar symptoms. People who are hospitalized with flu or at high-risk of flu complications with flu symptoms are recommended to be treated with antiviral drugs as soon as possible. The typical symptoms of flu are relatively consistent – fever, cough and muscle aches. The flu is caused by influenza viruses – usually Influenza A or Influenza B viruses. https://www.fda.gov/media/144245/download. It may be possible that a person can get infected by physical human contact (for example, shaking hands) or by touching a surface or object that has virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Most people with flu are contagious for about 1 day before they show symptoms. Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, Coronavirus vs. flu: Similarities and differences. Learn more about how the flu and COVID-19 differ. Emergency use authorization. Estimated influenza illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States — 2019–2020 influenza season. Testing may be done to see if you have COVID-19 or the flu. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Diagnosis. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. While more is learned every day about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it, there is still a lot that is unknown . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Says Washer, one symptom that is more unique to a COVID infection is the loss of taste or smell. Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website. These are the viruses we experience during our annual flu season. While the flu can be dangerous and deadly, COVID-19 has been significantly more fatal this year. How Else Do They Differ? Science. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website. You can get an annual flu vaccine to help reduce your risk of the flu. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19: Who's at higher risk of serious symptoms? Coronavirus has also been shown to cause a new loss of smell and/or taste. I sense confusion ahead. Both the flu and COVID-19 are spread in similar ways – through contact and respiratory droplets, for example sneezing, coughing, or talking, says Shah. Since SARS-CoV-2 (or the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19) emerged, many have compared it to the seasonal flu. Based on case fatality rate (CFR) only, it can be said that Covid-19 is not any deadlier than the flu. And all three illnesses have incredibly similar symptoms. Mayo Clinic; 2019. These are also common in COVID-19, but it’s become clear as the pandemic has progressed that COVID-19 symptoms vary more wildly than those of the flu – from no symptoms at all in some 45 percent of cases to deadly pneumonia and myriad cardiovascular and neurological issues, said Chin-Hong. Although the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can look similar, the two illnesses are caused by different viruses. Some of these complications are listed above. The answer: it depends on your age, and also your assumptions about how deadly COVID-19 will turn out to be. Find out what to know and how to protect yourself from these diseases. Infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for even longer. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), Neurosurgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, Parenting and special needs during a pandemic, Routine cancer screening during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Safe outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Safety tips for returning to school during COVID-19, Stay healthy during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Stay on track with medications during a pandemic, Video: Travel safely for medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. How Flu Spreads           How COVID-19 Spreads. COVID-19 appears to be more contagious and to spread more quickly than the flu. School-aged children infected with COVID-19 are at higher risk of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a rare but severe complication of COVID-19. Each year's flu vaccine provides protection from the three or four influenza viruses that are expected to be the most common during that year's flu season. As for Trump's claim that the flu kills "sometimes over 100,000" people a … https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Coping with unemployment caused by COVID-19, COVID-19 (coronavirus): Quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing, COVID-19: Social distancing, contact tracing are critical. COVID-19 (coronavirus) drugs: Are there any that work? It’s also more infectious, and there’s no vaccine yet. And in just eight months, Covid-19 has killed more people than the flu did during the last five flu seasons combined. Vaccines and related biological products advisory committee meeting. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. Fever can occur in both COVID-19 and the flu, but is less likely with the common cold. This content does not have an Arabic version. They have some common symptoms. It’s possible for people to spread the virus for about 2 days before experiencing signs or symptoms and remain contagious for at least 10 days after signs or symptoms first appeared. COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the flu have many similarities and differences. COVID-19: How much protection do face masks offer? So far in 2020, more than 16 million people have had COVID-19 in the U.S. More than 290,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. in 2020. Learn more about how to protect yourself and others from flu this season. Accessed Nov. 9, 2020. COVID-19 and flu, a perfect storm. After COVID-19 vaccination: Is it OK to visit with friends and loved ones? Coronavirus vs. flu deaths Flu vs COVID-19: transmission. COVID-19 and the flu have many signs and symptoms in common, including: The signs and symptoms of both diseases can range from no symptoms to mild or severe symptoms. Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Learn more about how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Standard precautions to reduce your risk of COVID-19, the flu and other respiratory infections include: Taking these prevention measures can help you stay healthy and reduce your risk of becoming ill with COVID-19 or the flu. COVID-19 Is Deadlier Than The Flu. COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, while influenza is caused by influenza A and B viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2), and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Coronavirus: What is it and how can I protect myself? You can also have both diseases at the same time. Research also shows that getting the flu vaccine does not make you more likely to get COVID-19 or other respiratory infections. Accessed July 20, 2020. Flu symptoms usually appear about one to four days after exposure. These viruses can also spread if a person touches a surface with one of the viruses on it and then touches his or her mouth, nose or eyes. COVID-19 vs. the flu: What to know COVID-19 and the flu both cause respiratory illness and the symptoms can be very similar. Learn more about how to get your flu shot at Mayo Clinic. By comparison, during the 2019-2020 flu season in the U.S., about 38 million people had the flu and about 22,000 people died of the flu. Caliendo AM, et al. Both COVID-19 and flu can result in complications, including: Most people who get flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications. But COVID-19 cases in the United States are still steadily increasing. With both seasonal flu and coronavirus hitting their peak right about now, it’s important to know the signs of each illness. But some people become seriously ill from the flu or COVID-19 and need to stay in the hospital. Mayo Clinic; 2020. Testing may be done to see if you have COVID-19 or the flu. This content does not have an English version. Accessed July 20, 2020. Contact tracing and COVID-19: What is it and how does it work? If a person has COVID-19, it could take them longer to develop symptoms than if they had flu. Influenza. Also, COVID-19 has been observed to have more superspreading events than flu. This page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date. Those at highest risk include: The risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19. Accessed Nov. 9, 2020. COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, while influenza is caused by influenza A and B viruses. Mayo Clinic Minute: How dirty are common surfaces? Viruses we experience during our annual flu vaccine exists, whereas a COVID-19 vaccine not!, medical visits, hospitalizations, and flu must be approved or authorized emergency. 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