Coronavirus Confusion as the Flu Season Begins


As COVID-19 continues to impact many Americans’ daily lives, a new concern is arising: flu season. The annual period with frequent outbreaks is underway during fall and winter, and the two illnesses have many similar symptoms. Because of this, many people are worried that they will not be able to tell which virus they contracted.

Both the flu and coronavirus can cause similar symptoms, including a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing. However, the coronavirus often has more severe symptoms, especially in older people. The most noticeable difference is that coronavirus can cause a loss of taste and smell, while the flu cannot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition to the flu and coronavirus having some similar symptoms, they are also both person-to-person diseases that are spread through droplets. However, they have some differences with transmission as well, since COVID-19 appears to spread more rapidly across certain populations and age groups when compared to the flu. Coronavirus has also shown more “superspreading events,” meaning that there is a sudden spike in cases after a gathering of many people.
Both coronavirus and the flu can severely affect elderly people, but the coronavirus has more severe impacts on this group than the flu and they have different vulnerable populations. The flu has more negative impacts for children when compared to the risk for healthy children for coronavirus. However, since the transmission rate of COVID-19 is still very high, even children who are asymptomatic can pass it to those who will not be asymptomatic.
Finally, one of the largest differences between the flu and coronavirus is the existing research and cures. The flu has multiple vaccines, while coronavirus does not currently have any approved vaccines that are released to most of the population. Many companies are in the process of developing these for coronavirus, but they will then have to be made available and distributed to the public.
Although the flu and coronavirus have many similar symptoms, one of the more major differences is the loss of taste and/or smell. This can be an identifying factor as flu season makes it more difficult for people to tell if they have contracted coronavirus, allowing them to figure out what measures to take, how to quarantine, and more. Because it can be difficult to tell which disease is which, it is necessary to get tested for coronavirus to be certain.