Since the discovery of the coronavirus disease or the COVID-19 in Wuhan in December 2019, this virus has spread across the globe. The more worrisome part is that its early symptoms are similar to those of colds and flu. This may make its detection a little more difficult.
This makes people worried about seasonal maladies like flu at the expense of this lethal virus. This often causes panic and stress on local healthcare services. We are offering this article to help you know the difference among the three virus strains leading to the common cold, flu, and coronavirus.
Despite a marked resemblance in the early symptoms, common cold and COVID-19 share some key differences. These three maladies are caused by three highly infectious virus strains but the last one among them has proved deadly because of a “spiked” protein mutation.
To those who may not understand, the unique thing about this spiked protein strain is that it mutates very fast. It can attach itself with the cells in the body, causing huge damage, suck out the proteins, and eat up the white blood cells, thus reducing immunity. Scientists have developed a vaccine to contain the virus but its efficiency is challenged.
Several countries like the US, UK, Russia, and India have launched their corona vaccines for the general public or are in the process of doing so. The situation is now seemingly better in December 2020 because the coronavirus symptoms have not changed throughout the year and the recovery rate among the patients is also higher. The World Health Organization expects to find a stable cure for the epidemic after Q2 2021.
COVID-19 and the common cold share a lot of the same respiratory symptoms. The cold symptoms usually peak within two to three days and often include the following:
Stuffy or runny nose
In rare cases, several symptoms of cold like runny nose, stuffy nose, and cough might last for up to 10 to 14 days, and the patient keeps on improving during that time. Most patients just get along with some herb-based teas and taking a few antibiotics.
Expert’s tip: If you are suffering from a cold, here is why you should go to the gym!
The situation coronavirus symptoms go from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. It is quite evident that you already know the people are dying because of this virus all over the world.
Symptoms of the coronavirus or COVID-19 typically appear two to 14 days after exposure. They can be:
Shortness of breath
These symptoms are the most common ones. There have been reports of severe illness and death because of coronavirus, though most of the confirmed cases only had mild symptoms. It would thus be best to look out for other less common symptoms like a sore throat, runny nose, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting that were reported by only 2% of the patients in the US.
The New York Times has reported that pneumonia too is becoming increasingly common among COVID-19 patients, even in those whose cases aren't severe. You might want to get this factor checked with a healthcare specialist firsthand to reduce any chance of infection. This makes it just as dangerous for those sitting nearby and caring for you.
There is some respite though. The severity of the coronavirus varies from one person to another, although it is significantly more severe than the common cold. It is a dangerous and life-threatening disease but people are still recovering from it by strengthening their immunity. You too can try some Ayurvedic remedies to get an advantage.
It is not easy to discern the difference between flu and COVID-19 except for the following observations:
1. Flu symptoms stay until four days while COVID-19 symptoms can stay for 14 days.
2. The median incubation period for COVID-19 is 5.1 days, it is nearly zero for flu.
3. Flu doesn’t come with breathlessness or loss of sense of smell, COVID-19 does.
4. There is little to no muscular pain in flu, the situation is worse in COVID-19.
5. Flu can be treated with simple antiviral medicines, COVID-19 needs a specialized vaccine.
You can also note that the incubation period for a cold is three days. Colds don't lead to any serious health issues such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, hospitalizations, or deaths. This is again very different from the symptoms of flu.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in both children and adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children typically suffer from fever and mild, cold-like symptoms. The latter may include a runny nose and a cough.
Tip: If you are a working fitness professional who has given up going to the gym, here’s a free resource to convince you to do otherwise.
We still have no clinical cure for the coronavirus- or even for the common cold or flu. However, the latter is not exactly life-threatening in most conditions. Scientists across the world are looking forward to a timeline of Q2 in 2021 and we all should have a defense against the deadly epidemic by then.
If you develop a fever and other symptoms related to the coronavirus, it's wise to call your doctor or emergency medical helpline to determine the next steps. The coronavirus or COVID-19 and the common cold have nearly identical prevention methods.
It is important to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. We also recommend you not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands besides avoiding close contact with the sick. You should also stay home when you are sick and you should take out time to disinfect all nearby surfaces to resist infection.
The key difference flu and COVID-19 is that the latter causes shortness of breath. It is a common sign of COVID-19 that occurs before the development of pneumonia. Generally, the flu and cold do not cause any shortness of breath unless they have progressed to pneumonia.
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, some data in this article may be subjected to change. We would also encourage you to stay informed of the latest updates offered by your local government and healthcare agencies. Following the WHO guidelines is just as important.
Maintain social distancing. Stay inside. Stay safe!
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