Colds and flu affect thousands upon thousands of people globally each year according to research by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Even medical experts are baffled with new virus strains emerging each winter. These days, it isn’t good enough to protect yourself at the start of the Winter – you must be constantly ensuring that you are building up your immunity.
A balanced immune system normally protects against attacks from foreign invaders, but occasionally our immune system turns against itself, causing destruction and in severe cases, death. It is one of the reasons that so many people try to avoid getting the flu by getting an annual flu vaccine.
At-risk people develop life-threatening complications
The flu vaccine is particularly important for people who are considered ‘high risk’ as they are the ones who can develop life-threatening complications. Some of these people are those with kidney or heart disease – in fact, anyone with an impaired immune system.
There are many viruses, some more common than others, and the flu virus for instance, spreads through droplets and onto surfaces and that is why it is too important to wash your hands regularly.
But how do you tell the difference between regular flu symptoms and the coronavirus? The common cold and the flu are viruses, and they can be minor to severe.
These viruses use living cells to multiply and destroy the host cell, making you sick. The truth is viral infections aren’t easy to treat either. COVID-19 and flu viruses have a similar disease presentation – they both cause respiratory disease.
With both flu and COVID-19 you’ll have a cough, fever, fatigue, your body is sore and both flu and the corona virus can result in pneumonia in both lungs. Pneumonia is a common respiratory disease that enters the body via the lungs and colonizes in the small sacs of the lungs.
Upon multiplication these bacteria cause tissue damage and inflammation resulting in impaired breathing. If the bacteria are left to flourish because there is no treatment, serious complications can develop, and the person could die.
While both coronavirus and the flu share several symptoms like coughs and fever, the coronavirus isn’t classified as flu. Symptoms of COVID-19 appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure with some people also reporting the loss of smell or taste as well.
Coronavirus requires laboratory testing
It can be quite difficult to identify the coronavirus infection if you just must go by symptoms and it is precisely why the coronavirus requires laboratory testing. Certainly, people who have difficulty with breathing should get medical care as quickly as possible.
The human body hasn’t developed a resistance to the coronavirus and everybody, young and old, rich and poor are at risk of developing complications as a result of the infection.
COVID-19 is caused by the novel 2019 coronavirus, which is referred to as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2. Flu, on the other hand, is caused by an influenza virus.
Those with acute respiratory illness and with symptoms such as sore throat, cough, high fever and shortness of breath were likely in close contact with a confirmed case of the infection. It could also be that they had a history of travel to areas where the coronavirus was are at risk of the virus.
Unfortunately, in cases like these, human to human spread has been established, and many countries and people around the world are at risk of infection.
Everybody needs to be educated about the symptoms and self-quarantine if they become ill and are concerned that they could be infected with the virus. It is imperative to wash hands regularly and to practice sound cough etiquette to protect others.
Governments around the world have put different policies and protocols in place to protect their people from showing the symptoms of the coronavirus and becoming ill, and the world is on high alert as the symptoms caused by the coronavirus send everyone into a panic.