COVID-19 and the Flu
Is it COVID-19 or the flu?
COVID-19 and the flu have a lot in common. Both are caused by a virus. Both can cause a fever and cough. Both can be prevented by wearing a mask, social distancing and handwashing.
You can protect yourself today against the flu with a vaccine.
What are the symptoms?
- Both: Fever, cough, headache, body aches, fatigue, sometimes nausea and diarrhea.
- COVID-19: Also causes shortness of breath and loss of taste and smell. Some people display no symptoms.
What causes it?
- COVID-19: The novel 2019 coronavirus or SARS CoV2.
- Flu: Different strains and types of the influenza virus, which vary from year to year.
How does it spread?
- Both: Droplets traveling through the air (talking, sneezing, coughing, shouting), touching a surface with viruses on it
How is it treated?
- Both: Treatment to address symptoms such as fever or breathing problems and antiviral medications to shorten the length of illness.
- COVID-19: Antivirals administered intravenously and available only in a hospital setting.
- Flu: Oral antivirals prescribed on an outpatient basis or given to hospital patients.
How is it prevented?
- Both: Masks, handwashing, social distancing.
- COVID-19: Vaccine in development.
- Flu: Vaccine available now, to prevent the flu or shorten its length and severity.