While the flu can be dangerous and deadly, COVID-19 has been significantly more fatal this year. 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. With COVID-19, you may experience loss of taste or smell. 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. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer. With COVID-19, you may experience loss of … Coronavirus cases tend to develop more gradually than the flu. Flu symptoms usually appear about one to four days after exposure. 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. A cough associated with the coronavirus tends to be dry. Only one antiviral drug, called remdesivir, is currently approved to treat COVID-19. COVID … https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2019-2020.html. Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. This page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date. So what is the relative risk of dying from COVID-19 vs. the flu? Based on case fatality rate (CFR) only, it can be said that Covid-19 is not any deadlier than the flu. COVID-19 and the flu are caused by different viruses. Saving Lives, Protecting People, How long symptoms appear after exposure and infection, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Reconstruction of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Virus, 2019-2020 Preliminary In-Season Burden Estimate, Who is at High Risk for Flu Complications, Who Should & Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated, Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV)/Nasal Spray Vaccine, Selecting Viruses for the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine, Flu Vaccine and People with Egg Allergies, Frequently Asked Questions on Vaccine Supply, Historical Reference of Vaccine Doses Distributed, Hospitalized Adult Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network (HAIVEN), How Vaccine Effectiveness and Efficacy are Measured, What People with a Staph Infection Should Know about Flu, Resources for Hosting a Vaccination Clinic, Overview of Influenza Surveillance in the United States, Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET), Weekly U.S. Symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu appear at different times and have some differences. How Else Do They Differ? Coronavirus: What is it and how can I protect myself? 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. AskMayoExpert. COVID-19 seems to spread more easily and leads to a more serious illness than the flu. COVID-19 symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after exposure. COVID symptoms can be of rapid or more gradual onset. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. For COVID-19, it's 175 per 100,000 . 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. The flu and COVID-19 are both highly-contagious respiratory illnesses, but they’re caused by different viruses. Most people with flu are contagious for about 1 day before they show symptoms. But given it's also the flu season, how can you be sure whether you have coronavirus, a cold or the flu? Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell. 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. For both COVID-19 and flu, it’s possible to spread the virus for at least 1 day before experiencing any symptoms. How Flu Spreads           How COVID-19 Spreads. COVID-19 (coronavirus) in babies and children, COVID-19 (coronavirus) stigma: What it is and how to reduce it. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 vs. the flu: What’s the difference between these two viruses? How COVID-19, flu, cold, and allergies manifest and progress. 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. Because of the similarities, it can be hard to diagnose which condition you have based on symptoms alone. 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. Strep Throat. CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website. Says Washer, one symptom that is more unique to a COVID infection is the loss of taste or smell. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website. That is one of the biggest differences between the two right now: A flu vaccine exists, whereas a COVID-19 vaccine does not. Typically, a person develops symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection. Science. Flu season in North America typically occurs between October and May. All rights reserved. Since SARS-CoV-2 (or the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19) emerged, many have compared it to the seasonal flu. Here's what makes them different. Track the latest COVID-19 trends on the U.S. coronavirus map. Figuring out if you have COVID-19 vs. the flu can be a challenge. Nov. 10, 2020. COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the flu have many similarities and differences. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more about how to protect yourself and others from flu this season. Coronavirus vs. flu deaths COVID-19: Adult. COVID-19 and the flu are both contagious respiratory diseases caused by viruses. 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. Social distancing against COVID-19: Implication for the control of influenza. In other words, the flu vaccine will not prevent you from getting COVID-19. Experts note that COVID-19 has a higher hospitalization rate as well as a higher death rate than the flu. Find out what to know and how to protect yourself from these diseases. Also, COVID-19 has been observed to have more superspreading events than flu. Studies are in progress to learn more. 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). People at Increased Risk of COVID-19 Severe Illness. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include: Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms listed above. This content does not have an Arabic version. Influenza. Safe cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cancer treatment during COVID-19: How to move ahead safely. These droplets can land in the mouth or nose of someone nearby or be inhaled. But some people become seriously ill from the flu or COVID-19 and need to stay in the hospital. Record numbers of Covid-19 cases are being confirmed across the UK. 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. 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. 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. COVID-19 Is Deadlier Than The Flu. COVID-19 (coronavirus) drugs: Are there any that work? Both are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the illness (COVID-19 or flu) cough, sneeze, or talk. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), Fever treatment: Quick guide to treating a fever, Getting safe emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. Mayo Clinic; 2020. AskMayoExpert. Researchers are evaluating many drugs and treatments for COVID-19. 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. 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