Comparing Coronavirus and the Flu: Key Similarities and Differences

COVID-19 and the flu are both rampant and deadly
Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 11:38:32-04

“Why aren’t you talking about flu deaths?"

“Coronavirus isn’t nearly as bad as the flu.”

We have all seen comments on social media attempting to compare the coronavirus pandemic to a typical influenza season. But are these comparisons valid?

Coronavirus and Influenza have many similarities, but several key differences.

According to doctors at Johns Hopkins University, Both COVID-19 and Influenza have symptoms that include fever, cough, body aches and fatigue. Both can result in pneumonia. Both can be fatal.

Influenza causes approximately 261,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide, each year. As of March 24, 2020, COVID-19 had killed 18,600 people globally. There is no accurate way to predict how many lives the novel coronavirus will claim before the pandemic ends.

COVID-19 and the Flu can both spread from person-to-person through droplets in the air from an infected person sneezing or coughing, or even talking. Both can also be spread by an infected person before symptoms appear.

One difference is that novel 2019 coronavirus might be spread through airborne droplets that remain in the air after the infected person is no longer in the area.

Another difference involves vaccines.

There is no current vaccine for COVID-19. However, vaccines are developed each year to prevent the spread of influenza.

Unlike influenza, COVID-19 is a new virus and humans have no immunity.

Researchers are still trying to determine the mortality rate for novel coronavirus, but it is believed to be higher than most strains of the flu.