How Is COVID-19 Different From the Flu?

How Is COVID-19 Different From the Flu?

You or a member of your family has a sore throat, a runny nose, body aches, and a fever. Is it the flu or COVID-19?

Flu season has been around for a long time, with influenza (flu) infections becoming more common during the cold months. However, COVID-19 has only been an issue for your health since late 2019, and we’re still learning about this highly contagious respiratory illness.

While both COVID-19 and the flu are contagious respiratory illnesses, COVID-19 is different from the flu in some key ways that can impact your health and safety. At GatherWell Rapid COVID Testing of Otsego, Edina, and Ham Lake, Minnesota, our team can help you get more information on your COVID-19 status with comprehensive testing services. Here’s what you need to know about how COVID-19 is different from the flu.

Similarities and differences between COVID-19 and the flu

Here are some key differences between COVID-19 and the flu.

How easily can you get sick?

COVID-19 and the flu are both infectious respiratory diseases that can spread between people. COVID-19 seems to be more infectious than the flu, spreading more easily from person to person.

COVID-19 symptoms can take time to show up, or you could be an asymptomatic carrier, but even if you don’t feel sick, you may be able to infect others. That’s why it’s important to take precautions against COVID-19 transmission like masking in crowded areas.

How serious are these illnesses?

Exposure to the viruses that cause either of these conditions can cause you to become ill. COVID-19 has been shown to cause more serious illness in some people as compared to the flu. However, flu can still be a serious health concern, especially for children and seniors.

Both the flu and COVID-19 can be prevented with vaccination. A yearly flu shot targets the most common flu strains predicted for that year’s flu season, and the United States FDA has approved multiple safe and highly effective vaccines for COVID-19. Get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu to protect yourself and your community.

Symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu

Both COVID-19 and flu can present with symptoms including:

What to do if you think you could have COVID-19

If you think you could have COVID-19 based on symptoms or exposure, the first step is to get tested. At GatherWell Rapid COVID Testing, we offer a full range of COVID-19 testing options, including antigen testing, PCR testing, and antibody testing to reveal previous infection.

Until you know that you’re not positive for COVID-19, take steps to avoid infecting others. Self-isolate and use a mask to reduce the risk to those around you. If you test positive for COVID-19, seek medical attention right away, as FDA-approved treatment options for COVID-19 are more effective when delivered promptly. 

If you think you could have the flu, and are at risk for severe illness or complications, FDA-approved prescription antiviral drugs are available to fight off the flu bug.

To learn more about COVID-19 testing and schedule your appointment, get in touch with GatherWell Rapid COVID Testing today. Call now, or request an appointment online.

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