November 30, 2020

Differences between COVID-19 and the Flu

Differences between COVID-19 and the Flu

Information courtesy of Hopkinsmedicine.org

(John Hopkins University)

Cause

COVID-19: Caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus, now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.

Flu: Caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.

Transmission

While both the flu and COVID-19 may be transmitted in similar ways (see the Similarities section above), there is also a possible difference: COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route, meaning that tiny droplets remaining in the air could cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer near.

Antiviral Medications

COVID-19: Antiviral medications are currently being tested to see if they can address symptoms.

Flu: Antiviral medications can address symptoms and sometimes shorten the duration of the illness.

Vaccine

COVID-19: No vaccine is available at this time, though it is in progress.

Flu: A vaccine is available and effective to prevent some of the most dangerous types or to reduce the severity of the flu.

Infections

COVID-19: Approximately 121,564 cases worldwide; 1,050 cases in the U.S. as of Mar. 11, 2020.

Flu: Estimated 1 billion cases worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year.

Deaths

COVID-19: Approximately 4,373 deaths reported worldwide; 29 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 11, 2020.

Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

Synopsis

The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. Since this disease is caused by a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: