People are beginning to form misunderstandings about flu and COVID-19 and the issue is widespread on the internet. Much like other people on the internet, the president of the United States, Donald Trump has also made some misinformed judgments between the two diseases. What is the truth is that COVID-19 is lethal and much more dangerous than the flu that comes each season.
To put things in perspective the novel coronavirus is responsible for the death of above 210,700 people in the United States in just 8 months according to the data from Johns Hopkins University. Since the beginning of the pandemic in early February, there has been more than the average 867 deaths that have occurred due to the virus.
In comparison, the flu in the last flu season has caused an estimate of about 22,000 deaths in the country according to the CDC. According to the CDC, flu seasons usually come around October to May but the exact timing or period for the flu season may differ.
So for instance, if between the months of October and May, the flue has killed 22,000 people, this makes for an average of around 91 deaths from flu per day over the period of 8 months. In comparison, during the same period, the novel coronavirus has killed far many people than the flu has managed to during the previous 5 seasons of flu combined.
COVID-19 is lethal and is not in the same boat as the common flu. The virus is deadly and therefore precautions against the lethal disease are more than necessary. It is important to not be caught up in the misunderstandings that equate the disease with flu because it is far more harmful.
According to research, the flu can infect an average of around 1.28 more people. Comparatively, without preventative measures such as stay-at-home rules, a person infected with COVID-19 can spread the disease to 2 or 3 people.
While the flu has a smaller incubation period and people with the virus can start falling ill within one or 4 days of catching the infection, their symptoms also show up after 2 days, according to the CDC.
This means people who catch the flu can know they are sick sooner and can avoid spreading it to other people by staying at home.
On the other hand, coronavirus has a longer incubation period, it takes anywhere between 14 to 3 days for the illness to present itself. According to Harvard Medical School, symptoms for the disease take 4 to 5 days after a person catches the infection.
Experts from Harvard say a person with COVID-19 will become contagious for 72-48 hours before they feel the symptoms themselves. This means they can spread the infection before they are aware of their sickness.
It’s even worse if the sufferer is asymptomatic (shows no symptoms) they become the easiest carriers of the disease. Anne Rimoin is a professor of epidemiology; she confirms that asymptomatic people can spread the virus more easily.
She explains people can spread the virus when they spit while speaking or when they rub their eyes, nose, or mouth and then touch other surfaces, this way they can leave traces of the lethal COVID-19 making it easier to infect others.
Since there is no vaccine for coronavirus yet, it is only wise for people to social distance and preserves your health because the battle with this disease can be longer than you expect. With conditions like ‘long COVID’ plaguing the population long after they recover, it is a safer call to abide by rules and follow all measures listed for protection by health professionals. COVID-19 is lethal and it should not be confused with seasonal flu.