As the Covid-19 continues to spread, here as elsewhere, many differences and similarities have been noted between the new Coronavirus and the seasonal flu.
LDoctor Fatima Azizi, specialist in general medicine, agreed to discuss this subject, in a statement to MAP, in order to shed more light on the matter and remove the doubt surrounding the issue.
– Clinical signs “The clinical signs are almost the same at the onset of the disease, whether it is seasonal flu or Covid-19. Both diseases begin with fever, chills, sneezing, headache , stiffness, myalgia “, explains Doctor Azizi, stressing that these symptoms can, in some cases, be accompanied by digestive disorders, in particular diarrhea or vomiting, symptoms” more accentuated “in subjects suffering from Covid-19.
“Patients of both diseases may develop all of the symptoms at once or have only a few,” but clinically, the warning signs for both are usually the same, especially early on. . – Transmission mode
“For the mode of transmission, again, it is the same thing”, continues the doctor.
“Seasonal influenza and Covid-19 are transmitted by respiratory droplets, close contact between a sick person and members of his entourage, but also through surfaces previously touched by infected individuals”.
– Incubation time The incubation time for seasonal influenza is shorter. “Concretely, a person can catch the seasonal flu virus and carry it for one or even two days before starting to show the first symptoms”, indicates Dr. Azizi, while for the Covid-19, a patient can remain asymptomatic until ‘to fourteen days before showing signs of illness. However, the incubation period for Covid-19 is four days on average, she says. – Mode of propagation
“The seasonal flu spreads more quickly given its short incubation and the Covid-19 remains more contagious”, nevertheless notes the specialist.
“That is to say that even if the flu spreads faster, its viral load and its reproduction rate remain limited,” she says. On the other hand, the reproduction rate of Covid-19 is two to two and a half times higher than that of seasonal flu, which makes the contagion more important.
Finally, “we have many more people who develop symptoms of Covid-19 than people infected with seasonal flu”, she concludes on the question. – Nature of patients
“The seasonal flu mainly affects the immunocompromised, the elderly, carriers of chronic diseases, children and pregnant women,” recalls Dr. Azizi.
The same categories of people are affected by Covid-19, she says, with the exception of children, little affected by the virus and who, according to what has been noticed, defend themselves better than the elderly. or with reduced immunity. “Children can therefore carry the disease and not do it”, reveals the general practitioner.
The seasonal flu, it affects children and this is the reason why, “in a school for example, one will find more the seasonal flu because it is transmitted from one child to another”.
– Severity “Whether it is a question of seasonal flu or Covid-19, the cases are mild in 80%,” says Dr. Azizi, “then remain 15% of people who can develop quite severe symptoms, both in the cases of seasonal flu than Coronavirus and between 1 and 5%, which will indeed show severe symptoms and this is all the harshness of Covid-19 “.
“Even for the seasonal flu, we treat severe cases that require a passage in intensive care,” she recalls, “but with the Covid-19 and from what we have seen this year, this ‘is more serious “. Especially in terms of respiratory distress, insofar as “Covid-19 can quickly cause pulmonary complications, unlike the flu which gradually dissipates”.
As for the treatment, if there is a vaccine and antivirals to fight against the seasonal flu, Dr. Azizi notes that there are not really specific treatments, neither for the flu, nor for the Covid-19.