ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Given that the coronavirus came to light in the middle of flu-season, researchers say there were bound to be comparisons.
In the last two months, more than 800-thousand Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 45-thousand people have died in the U.S Meanwhile, the CDC says last flu season 34-thousand Americans died from influenza complications.
Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, explains how the diseases are like each other and what sets them apart.
The coronavirus and the flu are both respiratory illnesses — and while they have similar symptoms, the diseases are caused by different viruses.
They can both cause fever, cough and body aches, and complications can lead to pneumonia or even death.
They can both spread through air droplets — when you cough, sneeze or talk, and both can be spread by an infected person before they even show symptoms.
“I can tell you in my own community, I don’t understand why you are so upset about this — this is just like the flu. This is absolutely not like the flu.”
Here’s how the illnesses are different, the coronavirus is spread through one strain
But the flu can be caused by different influenza strains. COVID-19 can spread with airborne droplets that remain in the air longer, and causes a shortness of breath.
“It is many times more transmissible and much more deadly. We have no immunity to this. Our bodies were not exposed to this so we can’t fight this off.”
While the flu has a vaccine, researchers are scrambling for a coronavirus vaccine — which could be a year away. The flu spreads faster and is more likely to affect children — than COVID-19 which has a longer incubation period.
Doctors believe the coronavirus is far deadlier than the flu. Flu typically peaks in the winter months and fades away during the summer. But researchers don’t know just yet — what role weather plays with the coronavirus.
The CDC warns that a second wave of the coronavirus may arrive by flu season this winter and could be far deadlier.