Skip to main content

Differences between the symptoms of coronavirus and influenza

Traditionally, with the beginning of winter, the incidence of seasonal flu also increases. In the current epidemic season, there is a likelihood of contracting the coronavirus, which is only gaining speed. What is the danger of this new tandem? Some experts are convinced that together “two in one” are capable of inflicting a fatal blow on the human body. Others – that two viruses in one organism do not get along, and once in a healthy cell, one virus will definitely displace the other.

Who is right? And what is the current situation with the incidence of seasonal flu? What should a sick person do if he contracted the flu and coronavirus at the same time?

According to Rospotrebnadzor, by the end of November, the epidemic threshold for SARS was exceeded in 42 regions of Russia. So far, fortunately, “the incidence is caused by respiratory viruses not of influenza etiology, but these are: parainfluenza, adenoviruses, RS viruses.” And the excess over the last week of November was recorded mainly among the adult population. Although usually ARI and ARVI are the first to pick up children. But this year, perhaps, the children are saved by disunity: in many regions, due to the coronavirus pandemic, kindergartens, schools are closed, circles and other out-of-school sections do not work.

And the peak of the influenza epidemic in the current epidemic season may be shifted to a later (or earlier?) Time. However, the highest rise in seasonal flu has always occurred during the winter period. And now “according to Rospotrebnadzor, the flu epidemic in Russia will begin in the 5-6th week of 2021). That is, in mid-February. But, as other experts believe, “a sharp rise in the incidence of influenza and SARS is possible during a thaw.” And the thaw, as we can see, did not stop this year. Rather, the real winter has not yet begun.

And yet, the main danger of the current epidemic season, according to our permanent expert, infectious disease specialist, MD, professor Nikolai Malyshev, is that a person can immediately become infected with both coronavirus and seasonal flu.

– Simultaneous infection with influenza and COVID-19 is possible, – Nikolai Alexandrovich is convinced. – Both viruses can enter the human body both at the same time and in turn. Together they will greatly worsen the state of health. First of all, both viruses hit the respiratory system, which provokes a serious complication – pneumonia. And all this can have very serious consequences for the body, which will be difficult to cope with.

The sick person himself is unlikely to be able to distinguish the flu from the coronavirus. In both cases, the symptoms are similar: with the disease, the temperature rises, there is a cough, runny nose, sore throat, weakness, and congestion in the chest. Both viruses are transmitted by airborne droplets. And the most dangerous complication they have is intractable pneumonia.

But there are still differences between influenza and covid, and everyone needs to know about them, the expert believes.

Flu symptoms. At the very beginning, its main difference and the most frequent is the high temperature. The disease progresses rapidly: fever, sharp headache, especially in the area of ​​the brow, muscle aches. But on the first day there is no runny nose or cough. Only on the 2-3rd day begins a sharp hysterical cough, there is a heaviness in the chest.

With coronavirus disease: there is also a temperature, but it is moderate (in 90% of those infected with the COVID-19 virus, the temperature rose to 37.5-38.5 degrees), in most cases, the sense of smell disappears. And always – a dry cough, severe muscle pain, heaviness in the chest, heart palpitations. Sometimes – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; there is confusion. And a high temperature (39-40 degrees) with covid is also possible, but, as a rule, with a severe complication.

Both viruses are already walking in our country and in Moscow. Influenza in this epidemic season (according to WHO) is in four types at once, three of which are new – and they were not widespread in our Northern Hemisphere before.

The most active and dangerous of the influenza viruses for humans this winter and spring of 2021 will be the following strains: A (H1N1); A (H3N2); B (Victoria) and B (Brisbane). The latest strain B (Brisbane) has been a nightmare on the planet for many years in a row. But, fortunately, it is not one of the extremely dangerous viruses for humans. Swine flu is considered a pandemic (strain A (H1N1). Here it is able to quickly infect a person, dramatically weaken the immune system and cause serious complications. It is more often than others and is detected in sick people.

Therefore, as Professor Nikolai Aleksandrovich Malyshev advises, “now it is especially important to observe all hygienic and sanitary safety measures: not to attend mass events and not to arrange them yourself, especially in closed rooms. When in public places and transport, it is imperative to wear protective masks and maintain a social distance (keeping a meter apart) – this is a requirement of Rospotrebnadzor. And upon returning home, wash your hands thoroughly with soap, rinse the mucous membranes of the nose with soap and water, take a shower. And also: drink vitamins, give up bad habits, eat more vegetables and fruits ”.

Still, it is good news that this year, in late fall and early winter, there have been few cases of seasonal flu reported globally. This was confirmed by the World Health Organization. Moreover, the incidence of influenza at this time was 98% lower compared to the same period last year. Experts suggest that this is most likely due to the restrictions on contacts adopted in all countries, with the fact that many shops, entertainment establishments, gyms and stadiums are closed, schoolchildren, students, and other students have been transferred to distance learning …

But scientists do not agree with this, believing that it is difficult for two viruses in one organism to get along. And they support their point of view with research: “if a person is infected with one virus, he is less likely to get simultaneously infected with another. During viral intervention, the human immune system, fighting against one virus, will attack another. That is, once in a healthy cell, one virus effectively displaces the other. “

Well, if that’s really the case.