The Differences Between Flu and COVID-19

Reading Time: 2 min

At a glance, it can be easy to confuse the flu and COVID-19. After all, they’re both respiratory illnesses, they’re both contagious, and they’re both viral infections. However, despite these similarities, they also have numerous differences and can affect people in very different ways.In this blog, our team at All Day Medical Care Clinic offers these insights into COVID-19 and what sets it apart from the flu.

The similarities between COVID-19 and the flu

COVID-19 and the flu share many symptoms, including the following:

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting, especially in children
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing

Both of these viruses also spread through respiratory droplets. This can occur from inhaling droplets from an infected person or by touching an infected surface and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Both of these infections can also cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, organ failure, heart attack, and even death.

While COVID-19 and the flu share several characteristics, they also have numerous differences.

That’s because very different viruses cause each of these infections.

The differences between COVID-19 and the flu

COVID-19 is caused by a new strain of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, whereas the flu is caused by influenza viruses. These viruses move from person to person the same way, and you can spread both without having symptoms. However, COVID-19 appears to spread quicker and be more contagious than the flu. Here are some other differences:

Onset of symptoms

When exposed to the flu, symptoms usually develop within 1-4 days. However, COVID-19 symptoms can arise 2-14 days after exposure, though they typically set in by day five. It’s also common for people with COVID-19 to experience changes in their smell and taste.

Risk of complications

COVID-19 infections also come with increased risks of severe illness, such as lung injury. Unfortunately, that means higher mortality rates. Between January 2020 and early March 2021, approximately 525,035 Americans died of COVID-19. For comparison, the World Health Organization estimates that between 290,000 and 650,000 people die of flu-related illnesses worldwide each year.

Treatment

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved prescription antiviral drugs to help manage flu symptoms, treatments for COVID-19 are still evolving. The antiviral agent remdesivir received approval under Emergency Use Authorization, but the FDA hasn’t approved any drugs or therapies to treat COVID-19.

Vaccines

The flu and COVID-19 also require different vaccines, and getting one vaccination won’t protect you from both infections. Your annual flu vaccine also doesn’t guarantee protection against contracting influenza, but it reduces your risk for infection and serious complications.

The FDA has given emergency use authorization for three COVID-19 vaccinations. Like the flu vaccine, they can prevent you from getting COVID-19 or help keep you from developing dangerous health complications.

Reaching a diagnosis

The only way to know for sure if you have COVID-19 is through testing. If you have symptoms, think you were exposed, or have a trip planned, contact our office to learn more about our screening options.

Testing for COVID-19 is quick and simple. Depending on the screening you need, you can have results within 15 minutes or 2-4 days.

To learn more about COVID-19, book an appointment online or over the phone with All Day Medical Care Clinic today.

All Day Medical Care Clinic Team

Autor

All Day Medical Care Clinic Team

This article was prepared with the All Day Medical Care Clinic Team and its experienced clinic providers, ensuring accurate and reliable health information.

The Importance of Well-Baby Care

Most people put off a trip to the doctor until they have a cough, cold, or other health concern. However, preventive...
Read More

Heart Health Screenings: Everything You Need to Know

Heart health screenings are very important for early detection and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, which are leading causes of morbidity...
Read More

Getting Help for Your Anger Issues

Anger is a healthy emotion, and most of us get mad at times. This reaction can occur for various reasons,...
Read More

Home-Based Child Behavioral Disorder Help

No one ever said being a parent was easy. But it can be even more challenging when your child has...
Read More

How Suboxone Works to Treat Opioid Addiction

Understanding Opioids and Opioid AddictionOpioids are substances commonly prescribed for pain relief. They activate natural pain receptors in the body,...
Read More

Tips for a Stress-Free and Enjoyable Holiday Season

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's – the holiday season is a cherished time when we come together with loved ones...
Read More

Keeping Your Holiday and Winter Cheer Bright

The festive holiday season and chilly winter months often come with emotional challenges that can dim your cheer. Shorter days,...
Read More

How to Cope with Chronic Illness During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is always associated with joy and happiness, but for people with chronic conditions, this time can be...
Read More

9 Tips to Live a Healthy Lifestyle – And Why It’s Important

Have you ever wondered what a healthy lifestyle includes? Why should we keep living healthily? There is no such person...
Read More

Understanding ADHD: What You Need to Know

Many parents often come to see a psychologist with complaints about their child's inattention, inattentiveness, increased mobility, inability to control...
Read More

 Rett Syndrome

Understanding Rett Syndrome Rett syndrome is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder that primarily affects young girls. After a period of normal...
Read More

Overcoming Trauma: Finding Light in the Darkness

What is Trauma? Trauma is an emotional response to a terrifying and dangerous event, which threatens and harms an individual’s...
Read More

Diet and Mental Health: How Nutrition Shapes Your Well-Being

Many of us don't even realize that nutrition and mental health are so strongly linked. According to a study by...
Read More

When Should I Go to the ER Instead of Urgent Care?

Health problems often come out of nowhere, especially when they involve an injury. However, whether you have a fever that...
Read More

Five Reasons Why You Should Get an Annual Check-Up

Modern life is busy and exciting and goes by at a quick pace. However, health care often becomes an afterthought,...
Read More

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health, Anxiety, and Depression

According to a scientific brief published by the World Health Organization (WHO), in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic,...
Read More

How Setting Goals Can Positively Impact Our Mental Health

The speed of modern life is increasing day by day, and psychological and emotional stress is growing along with it....
Read More

Strengthen Your Relationship with Couples Counseling

People make a lot of assumptions about therapy, especially when it involves relationships. For instance, you may assume your problems...
Read More

What to Expect During Your First Well-Woman Exam

There’s no specific age to begin having well-woman visits. You might start having these critical annual checkups as a teenager, or...
Read More

Helping Your Child Overcome Back-to-School Stress

The back-to-school season is here, it can be filled with excitement, but also anxiety. Whether moving up a grade or...
Read More

The Differences Between Flu and COVID-19

At a glance, it can be easy to confuse the flu and COVID-19. After all, they’re both respiratory illnesses, they’re...
Read More

Erectile Dysfunction – Everything You Need to Know

Erectile dysfunction, unlike other health problems of men, occupies a special place. Due to the intimate nature of the pathology,...
Read More

How Stress Can Increase Your Risk for Heart Disease

Do you know that stress has a great impact on human health, and in most cases, in a negative way?...
Read More

The Effects of Diet on Mental Health

The link between diet and mental health is a complex and multifaceted relationship that has been the subject of growing...
Read More

15 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young and Healthy

Like any complex mechanism, our brain requires attention and care, so that even in older age it continues to operate...
Read More

Baby’s First Year: Doctor Visit Schedule

Bringing a baby home comes with magical milestones and unexpected twists and turns. But, there’s one thing you can expect:...
Read More

Holiday Blues: How to Manage, When to Seek Help

How to Manage the Post-Holiday Blues Many people, when they come to work after a long holiday, instead of feeling...
Read More

Understanding Your Options for Mental Health Treatment

It can feel overwhelming trying to figure out where to start when it comes to taking care of your mental...
Read More

STD Awareness & Testing for Adults

At some point in your life, you’ve probably heard someone say: If you’re sexually active, you need to get tested...
Read More

See Your Doctor from the Comfort of Your Home

At All Day Medical Care Clinic in Gaithersburg and Silver Spring, Maryland, we’re open for in-office visits. However, our team is also accepting new...
Read More

Flu Season Is Here: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

No one wants to get sick, and that goes double when it involves influenza (flu). This highly contagious respiratory infection often...
Read More

Essential Screenings for Women’s Health Exams

There’s a reason why a routine health exam can feel, well, routine. That’s because these appointments establish a baseline of...
Read More

What to Know When Heart Disease Runs in Your Family

When a close relative like your mother or father has a heart attack, it’s natural to wonder: “Is heart disease...
Read More

6 Benefits of Group Therapy

If the idea of group therapy has left you feeling embarrassed or intimidated, we have good news for you: Group therapy...
Read More

Work Injury? Get Evaluated and Plan Your Recovery

Unfortunately, workplace injuries are a common problem. In 2020 alone, 2.7 million people sustained nonfatal illnesses and injuries on the job, and...
Read More

Should I Be Tested for COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a flood of information — many details of which continue to change as the medical community constantly...
Read More

What STD Tests Should I Consider?

In 2018, an estimated 68 million people in the United States had an STD, or sexually transmitted disease. Unfortunately, that number was...
Read More

Can Therapy Save My Marriage?

In the United States, 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. Those numbers can seem alarming, but they’re also starting to drop,...
Read More

The Importance of Getting Your Women’s Health Screening

It can be hard to keep up with the demands of everyday life, especially if you feel pulled in numerous...
Read More

Are Your Immunizations Up-to-Date?

If you don’t remember the last time you had an immunization, it could be time to schedule a doctor’s appointment....
Read More

How to Know if You Have an Urgent Care Need

Advancements in technology have made it possible to get medical care as easily as possible. In fact, thanks to virtual “telemedicine”...
Read More

Your Complete Guide to Men’s Health Screenings by Ages

According to a US survey, 33% of men believe they don't need annual men's health screening by age. According to...
Read More

Secondary Trauma: Help Others, Protect Yourself

What is Secondary Trauma Secondary traumatic stress is the emotional duress that results when an individual hears about the firsthand...
Read More

Understanding What a Weight Management Program Involves

It’s no secret that losing weight is hard. However, weight management programs give you the tools and confidence you need...
Read More

Parent’s Guide to Teen Depression

Depression in teens is more than just a bad mood. Depression is characterized by a prolonged state of being down,...
Read More

Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment for All Disorders

Studies show that almost half of all American adults experience some type of mental illness at some point. Mental disorders can develop...
Read More

Mastering ADHD: Strategies for Adults in Daily Life

About ADHD ADHD, also known as adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, affects 4.4% of American adults aged 18-44 (NAMI, 2023)....
Read More

What is Mindfulness? Best Practice for Greater Well-being

Mindfulness is a relatively new field that has gained extremely wide popularity and application in recent years for overcoming distress,...
Read More

Depression and Sleep Problems: How Are They Connected?

People often think about health conditions individually. For instance, you have insomnia, or you have depression, and you seek treatment...
Read More

5 Signs Your Anxiety is Problematic

If anxiety is a problem, either for you or your child, it’s important to know that you can get relief...
Read More

All Day Medical Care Clinic

We are excited to announce that we have recently implemented new software to enhance our services and improve your overall experience with us. During this transition period, there may be occasional delays in our response times as our team adapts to the new system.


Please be assured that we are working diligently to minimize any disruption and continue providing you with the highest level of service. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. Thank you for your continued support.

This will close in 0 seconds

We'll text you

Enter your info and we’ll text you shortly.

By clicking Send, I agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, and I consent to receiving text messages from this practice acknowledging that data rates may apply. Message frequency varies.