Lately, people in the world are made worried about the Coronavirus outbreak. This is because the coronavirus symptoms have similar symptoms to the common flu but can be fatal. So, what distinguishes between flu (influenza) and Coronavirus or COVID-19 infection?
Flu and COVID-19 are both caused by viruses that attack the human respiratory tract. However, these two viruses come from different groups and have different characteristics.
The virus that causes flu or influenza comes from the rhinovirus group. This virus spreads from human to human and most often attacks children or adolescents. Rhinovirus infections can occur throughout the year, but most often in the rainy season. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is caused by viruses from the coronavirus group.
The Differences of Coronavirus Symptoms and Flu Symptoms
The following are the differences between coronavirus symptoms and flu symptoms.
1. Flu Symptoms
The common flu occurs when rhinovirus attacks the respiratory tract. Generally, people will complain about a problem in the nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). The flu symptoms usually appear 1-3 days after exposure to the virus from other people who are sick. The following are the flu symptoms:
- Nasal congestion and runny
- Sore throat
- Mild headache
2. Coronavirus Symptoms
Just like rhinovirus, coronavirus also infects the respiratory tract. Therefore, people who suffer from COVID-19 can experience symptoms similar to the flu. Even so, the Coronavirus that is currently being endemic is more likely to cause complaints in the lower respiratory tract. Coronavirus can affect anyone, including pregnant or breastfeeding women, infants, and children.
There are 3 main symptoms that can appear on novel coronavirus, namely:
- High fever
- Hard to breathe
Patients can also experience muscle aches, headaches, sore throats, colds, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. However, this symptom is uncommon and is not typical in COVID-19 patients.
In severe cases, Coronavirus infection can cause serious complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, severe pneumonia (lung infection), pulmonary edema, and malfunction of body organs such as the kidneys.
Treatment of Flu and Coronavirus Infection
The treatments for the flu and Coronavirus infection cannot be compared because the two diseases are very different. The following is an explanation of the treatment of flu and Coronavirus infections.
1. Flu Treatment
The flu can generally heal itself in 4-9 days. The stronger the immune system, the faster you heal. Therefore, the doctor will advise the sufferers to get plenty of rest, eat nutritious food, and drink enough water.
Meanwhile, to relieve flu symptoms doctors will usually give:
- Chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine. This combination of flu drugs can be consumed to relieve the stuffy and runny nose. Chlorpheniramine works by blocking histamine compounds that cause swelling in the nasal arteries, while pseudoephedrine will shrink the dilated blood vessels due to histamine.
- Paracetamol and ibuprofen. Both of these drugs can be used to treat flu symptoms accompanied by mild fever. Both paracetamol and ibuprofen are available in a variety of brands and very easy to find in pharmacies or drug stores.
- A combination of paracetamol, chlorpheniramine, pseudoepherine, and guaifenesin. If you have influenza accompanied by fever, cough with phlegm, and runny nose, you can take cold medicine with a combination of paracetamol, chlorpheniramine, pseudoephedrine, and guaifenesin to relieve these symptoms.
2. Coronavirus Treatment
Until now, no drugs or vaccines have been found to treat, prevent, and end Coronavirus infection. However, coronavirus symptoms that are like the common cold can be alleviated with cold medicine.
Unlike the case of COVID-19 with severe symptoms, treatment is more aimed at maintaining the patient’s condition and addressing complications that arise so as not to be fatal.
Although no vaccine has been found to prevent form coronavirus infection, you can minimize the risk of getting this infection by doing preventive measure, such as:
Get Quick Medical Answer from a Doctor. Just Ask!
Have a medical problem? Connect one-on-one with verified Doctors online or by phone. Pediatricians and other specialists available 24/7.ASK A DOCTOR NOW!
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use a mask for every activity outdoors or in public places.
- Increase drinking water.
- Get enough rest.
- Do not touch the eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are coughing and fever.
Coronavirus infection can cause symptoms that are mild to very severe and life-threatening. The mild symptoms can indeed be similar to the symptoms of the common flu. Therefore, you need to be more observant to recognize the difference based on the explanation above.
If you experience flu symptoms, especially those that do not heal for more than 1 week and are accompanied by a high fever, consult a doctor immediately to determine the cause.