Is Coronavirus Same as Flu Virus?

Body pain, flu, fever, sore throat, although these symptoms are the same as that of flu, but is coronavirus the same as common flu or not? This question confuses many as the symptoms of these two are strikingly similar. But the health experts believe that coronavirus is not the same as common flu. Here are a few things that differentiate between these two.

Mortality rate

Coronavirus or Covid-19 is the infection that was initially considered as flu. But as it infected more and more people, it caused death in nearly 3.5% of these confirmed patients. Many people would be infected from this virus without even realizing that they are infected. And this number is much more than the patients of seasonal flu which only kills 0.1% of its patients.

Francois Balloux teaches Computational Systems Biology at University College London. He comments on this coronavirus outbreak as;  “There is still considerable uncertainty around the fatality rates of Covid-19 and it likely varies depending on the quality of local healthcare.”

“That said, it is around 2 percent on average, which is about 20 times higher than for the seasonal flu lineages currently in circulation,”  he adds.

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Severity of cases

The severity of the condition is a lot more in coronavirus than flu cases. Health experts believe it is one of the true dangers of the infection that could take life. It is easy for coronavirus to infect people and lead them to hospitalization or support ventilation based breathing if the health condition of the patients is already weak.

The stats report tells that among 45,000 confirmed patients in China, most of the deaths (14.8%) were observed in people who were over 80 years of age. France’s deputy Health Minister Jerome Salomon says; “It’s true that if you’re older you’re at greater risk, but serious cases can also happen in relatively young people with no prior conditions.”

Level of being contagious

Medical experts believe that every coronavirus patient is highly likely to transmit to at 2-3 other people that are close to him. This is not the same in case of seasonal flu which only infects 1 person per patient if it does.

Availability of treatment

Salomon tells that humans are living with flu or influenza virus for more than a hundred years. He says; “We’ve studied it closely,” and “this new virus resembles the flu in terms of physical symptoms but there are huge differences.”

The major reason why we are not able to control the spread of coronavirus is that we don’t have a vaccine or medicine against it. some trials have proven to be effective but still, it is too early to tell if there is a medicine or vaccine expected in the near future or not.

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The flu virus is generally treatable and there are hundreds of research centers working to develop a better vaccine of flu every year. For this reason, controlling flu is relatively easier than controlling coronavirus cases.

As flu and coronavirus share many similarities, the experts recommend following almost the same precautions to avoid catching it in the first place. They avoid shaking hands, touching, hugging and meeting people in general. They also recommend frequently washing hands and using a face mask when in public.

All these precautions would limit new coronavirus infections as well as flu, gastro and many other diseases to be transmitted from one to another person.


Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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