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Influenza or covid: how to distinguish?
A modern mother needs a quick answer to the
question of which virus is attacking a child.
Like the flu, COVID-19 is an acute respiratory viral infection. Like the flu, it is transmitted by airborne droplets (or aerosols), that is, through droplets of liquid and mucus that an infected person exhales. The new virus, like the flu, is most dangerous for older people and those who have chronic diseases or immunodeficiencies.
At the same time, pathogens are different. COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Influenza causes influenza virus of one of three groups: A, B or C. In the winter season 2021-2022, for example, several strains of influenza A and B were most common.
Unfortunately, you can't eyeball this.

If you have experienced flu-like symptoms after being in contact with someone who has the coronavirus, or if someone in your family gets sick, it is more likely that it is COVID-19.

But remember: the incubation period of a coronavirus infection can be up to two weeks, and the flu develops symptoms much faster - for 2-3 days. However, the Delta coronavirus strain in many cases has a shorter incubation period of about 5 days.

That is, no matter what symptoms or parameters you rely on, the only way to determine which virus caused the disease is an analysis. It can be done in a laboratory, or you can do it at home. In particular, Milistan Combi Nasal Rapid Test for COVID-19 and influenza A/B allows you to get an answer to the question “Is it influenza or covid?” in convenient for you conditions, just in 15 minutes. The result of the test will help to start the correct treatment faster and reduce the risk of development of complications - this applies to both coronavirus and influenza virus.
  • with coronavirus infection, dry cough can be very strong and accompanied by chest pain
  • COVID-19 can cause back pain similar to inflammation of the nerve - like with herpes zoster
  • not typical of other viral infections complaints include very severe fatigue, blurred vision, complete loss of smell
  • body aches when infected with a coronavirus can be even without an increased body temperature
  • influenza always starts with a temperature above 38°C, and COVID can start with a slight increase in temperature

With a relatively mild course of coronavirus infection, a person may recover in 7-10 days, but patients often complain of fatigue, drowsiness, and general exhaustion for about two weeks or more. If COVID-19 occurs with complications, on the 7th-8th day, the state of health may worsen significantly, and this requires an urgent visit to the doctor, sometimes hospitalization.

When infected with the influenza virus, many people feel better in 7-8 days. However, if during this period, after a decrease in body temperature, it rises again, you should consult a doctor: this may indicate the development of a bacterial complication, for example, bacterial pneumonia.
There are several signs that make the coronavirus infection and the flu very similar. Here they are:

  • high body temperature from the first hours of illness
  • body and joints aches
  • feeling of weakness
  • headache
  • slight runny nose
  • dry cough

Sometimes in case of the flu there are symptoms of gastrointestinal toxicities (for example, diarrhea). With coronavirus infection, this symptom may occur more often, especially in children. However, the flu in children can also be accompanied by diarrhea more often than in adults.
Covid and flu symptoms: common and different
There are also some important differences:
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