How Different Are the Flu and COVID-19?

Thankfully, 2020 is finally over. But the pandemic still looms large. On top of that, flu season is in full swing as well.

How can we successfully battle against both of these viruses? And, frankly, are they even that different? Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte provides some helpful answers.

What Is the Flu?

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and, in severe cases, can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

We’ve listed some common flu symptoms below.

Common Flu Symptoms

  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Pain and tiredness around the eyes
  • Weakness or extreme fatigue
  • Warm, flushed skin and red, watery eyes
  • Frequent headaches
  • Fever

Is COVID-19 Different Than the Flu?

Yes, but the two illnesses can have similar symptoms. COVID-19 is also a respiratory illness, but is caused by a different infection with a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Both viruses are also transmitted the same way—by contact, droplets and fomites, which are objects that are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, furniture, etc.

The biggest difference between the two viruses is the fact that the flu has a readily available vaccine while COVID-19 does not. Even though a COVID-19 vaccine does, thankfully, exist, it isn’t ready for mass public distribution. For now, it’s best to follow the CDC-recommended health-safety precautions, which we’ve listed below.

COVID-19 Health-Safety Protocols

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth in public.
  • Maintain a six-foot space between yourself and those who don’t live in your immediate household.
  • Don’t go in public if you feel sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands as much as possible.

Virus season is upon us, but our team at AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte has your back! Visit us if you feel under the weather or schedule your annual flu shot ASAP.