One of the most frequently Googled questions is whether the coronavirus is the same as the flu. This year the rise in coronavirus cases coincides with the flu season so there is increasing anxiety.
The coronavirus and the flu do have some similar symptoms and can cause respiratory issues. To help, we have look at both the coronavirus and the flu.
What is the difference?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the most common symptoms of coronavirus include:
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties.
In severe cases symptoms can become more advanced leading to severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, pneumonia and death.
WHO outlines the most common symptoms of influenza as:
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain.
Am I at risk?
What is the likelihood that you have coronavirus rather than the flu? Have you travelled overseas recently? Have you been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
What we do know is that the elderly and people with existing respiratory or compromised immune systems are at greater risk.
To date (March 2020) there is no vaccine nor cure for coronavirus.
There is however, a flu vaccine and like each year Australians are urged to have a flu shot.
What preventative measures can I take?
The advice is:
- Stay at home in isolation if you are experiencing any symptoms
- Practice good hygiene
- Use a tissue or elbow to cover coughs and sneezes
- Frequently clean surfaces and household items
What do I do if I am experiencing symptoms?
If you do have cold or flu-like symptoms seek medical advice. Doctors who are working with 13 DOCTOR can see and speak to you over the phone or via a video consultation using your phone or computer while you stay in your home.
If you are wanting to go to your local GP or hospital, call ahead so they can take necessary precautions.