Both Influenza and Covid-19 are highly contagious respiratory illnesses. However, it has been observed that Covid-19 is more contagious than the Influenza as it spreads much more easily. The two viral infections are very much alike in that they have many similar symptoms. Some common symptoms of both illnesses are fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, body aches, headaches, etc. Thus, you may not be able to tell the difference between the two illnesses by identifying the symptoms.
How can you distinguish between Covid-19 and the Flu?
While it is hard to recognize or diagnose which virus you may be infected with, there is one sure way to distinguish whether you are infected with Covid-19, Influenza or both. The U.S. public health laboratories carry out a test that can identify both the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Influenza virus.
What are some of the similarities and differences between Covid-19 and the Flu?
While the two illnesses have many similar symptoms and both symptoms begin one or more days after infection, they are also different in certain aspects. For instance, a person infected with Covid-19 experiences symptoms for a longer period of time, but their symptoms also take a longer time to begin. According to the CDC, when infected with influenza, “Typically, a person may experience symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection.” Whereas, when infected with Covid-19, “Typically, a person may experience symptoms anywhere from 2 to 14 days after infection.”
What are some ways we can minimize the risk of Covid-19 and Flu infection?
The best way to contain the spread of Covid-19 and Influenza is to get vaccinated and stay updated with the vaccinations. Fortunately, both of these contagious respiratory illnesses have vaccines that are available to everyone for free. For the 2021-2022 Flu season, the United States was supplied between 188-200 million doses of the Influenza vaccine. This vaccine should be received by anyone over the age of 6 months old on a yearly basis. Additionally, as of May 23, 2022 there have been 741,676,155 Covid-19 vaccines distributed and everyone over the age of 5 can receive any of the available Covid-19 vaccines. The Covid-19 vaccine offers up to 95% protection against the virus, evidently getting vaccinated is the most effective form of containment and protection.
Why is it essential to stay up-to-date with your vaccinations?
While the Covid-19 vaccine protects up to 95%, the efficacy begins to decline overtime.This reduction in protection against the virus differs for various age groups. According to NEJM.org when analyzing the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine on people 12 years and older for up to 6 months, it was apparent that due to waning immunity with time, 4 months after the second dose the vaccine efficacy declined from 83.7% with an average rate of 6% every two months. Receiving the booster every six months and staying updated with your vaccination will help boost the vaccine efficacy and protect you against the virus.
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