Covid Care

Flu or Covid19: Know their Similarities and Differences

DayToDay Team
December 8, 2021

With the third wave of coronavirus in question and the constant weather change, people are now experiencing viral infections. The second an individual gets a sore throat or a runny nose, the mind starts doubting. “Is this Covid19? Are these the symptoms of flu? Am I down with a viral fever? Is this contagious?”

This article aims at helping individuals understand the similarities and differences between Flu or Influenza and Coronavirus. Proper understanding of a disease can help people take the right steps towards possible treatment and preventive care.

Let’s start with the similarities between Flu and Covid19

Spread of Infection

Both Flu and Covid 19 spread in a similar fashion. They are spread by droplets or aerosols. An infected person spreads the infection when they cough, speak or breathe, as the droplets can land on a person standing close to them. Individuals can get affected by both influenza or coronavirus while coming into contact with contaminated surfaces and then touching their nose or mouth.


Flu and Covid 19 have a similar range of symptoms. Both can have no symptoms or be asymptomatic, or have very serious symptoms. Common Flu and corona symptoms include -


Shortness of breath

Viral fever and chills

Stuffed nose


Body-ache and Fatigue

Diarrhea and vomiting

Nature of Infection

Influenza and Covid19 are Respiratory diseases. When we look at their symptoms, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, pain in the sinus, and shortness of breath, involve the respiratory system. The symptoms can be mild or severe and can also lead to death.

Both Flu and Covid 19 have similar complications. These may include pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, organ failure, heart attacks, worsening chronic medical conditions, and strokes. All these complications may or may not require hospitalization, depending on the severity.

High-risk individuals

A section of people is highly susceptible to both Flu or Covid 19. This group includes the older population, individuals with comorbidities, and individuals with chronic medical conditions and immunosuppressive diseases.

Individuals like healthcare workers, who are closely working with patients are highly susceptible to both influenza and coronavirus. Pregnant women and women who have recently delivered are advised to take precautions against these diseases.

Protective measures

Public health and social precautionary measures recommended by WHO suggest that small steps can help individuals stay away from flu and coronavirus. These measures include avoiding crowded places and poorly ventilated areas, maintaining at least 6 feet distance from others and wearing a well-fitted mask, opening doors and windows in rooms, cleaning hands frequently with water or sanitizer, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth after touching a surface, and sneezing or coughing into a tissue and disposing of it properly.

Now, let’s look into the differences between Flu or influenza and Covid 19 Infection


The causative organism for Covid19 is the coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2. Influenza or the flu is caused by Influenza A and B virus.

Symptom onset

The timeline of covid symptoms varies from flu symptoms. With Flu, a person usually experiences symptoms within one to four days of exposure. While, for someone infected with Covid19, symptoms appear after five to nine days from exposure.

Duration of spread

One can spread Flu for about a day before the onset of symptoms. Young adults and adults can be contagious for the initial three to four days of the infection and stay contagious for another three days.

Individuals with coronavirus can start spreading infection two to three days before experiencing any symptoms. They may also remain contagious ten days after the appearance of symptoms. Asymptomatic patients can spread the infection even after ten days of being tested positive. Individuals who are hospitalized or have low immunity can spread the virus for an even longer duration of up to twenty days.


Both Flu and Covid19 have different courses of treatment. Flu treatment involves antiviral drugs in case the patient has complications or is hospitalized. Antibiotics are of no use to treat viral infections.

Since coronavirus is a new type of virus, with different variants, the treatment is more open-ended. Hospitals use corticosteroids, oxygen, ventilators for respiratory support, and other medicines to manage corona symptoms. Other treatment options are under clinical trials or awaiting approval.

Now that we have looked into the differences and similarities between Flu or influenza and coronavirus, it is important to connect with a doctor immediately in case one experiences any symptoms. To know about DayToday Health services, connect with us on

Alexis den Boggende
Alexis den Boggende
Senior Content Writer
Olivia Casale
Olivia Casale
Senior Content Writer
Danny Biel
Danny Biel
Senior Cotent Writer
Driven Writer with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Strong past in Applied Improvisation and Improvisation for entertainment. Skilled in Talent Management, Copywriting, Teaching, Curriculum Development, Editing, and Data Management. Strong media and communication professional with a Master of Education.
Prem Sharma
Prem Sharma
Christine Hsieh
Christine Hsieh
Chief of Strategy & Research
My vision is to help transformative, indispensable inventions come into markets to make a difference in people's lives. I see this occurring through a continuously evolving practice of working at the intersection of empathetic design, cutting-edge technology, and business.
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