How is COVID-19 both different from and similar to the Flu?

COVID-19 and the flu are both respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses, both of which are highly contagious.  COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus whereas the flu is caused by one of two influenza viruses (Influenza A or Influenza B).  At All Health Medical Centre, we offer several COVID test services inThornhill to help you determine if you’re infected with the COVID-19 virus.  While there are similarities between COVID-19 and the flu, there are also some significant differences as well.


How does COVID-19 differ from the Flu?


There are several key differences between COVID-19 and the flu including different causes, health complications, and treatments.  The two also have different levels of severity, have a few different symptoms, and exhibit different ways in which they are spread.  For example:


  • Causes – COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus; the flu is caused by the Influenza A or Influenza B viruses.


  • Complications – COVID-19 may cause different complications such as clotting and child multisystem inflammatory syndrome.


  • Severity and spread – COVID-19 tends to be more contagious and spreads quicker than the flu. Additionally, COVID-19 can cause damage to the lungs and a loss of smell and/or taste.  The COVID-19 mortality rate is also higher than that of the flu.


  • Symptoms – COVID-19 symptoms take 2 to 14 days to appear after exposure; flu symptoms typically appear within 24 hours to 4 days after exposure.


  • Treatments – COVID-19 is usually treated with Remdesivir once a Thornhill COVID test shows that you’ve tested positive for the virus. It is the only approved antiviral medication for treating the virus, whereas the flu is commonly treated with several different antiviral medications.


How is COVID-19 similar to the Flu?


The viruses that cause both conditions are spread in similar fashion.  The viruses can be spread by individuals who are within 2 meters (6 feet) of one another or through respiratory aerosols or droplets when coughing, sneezing or talking.  Furthermore, COVID-19 and the flu have the following symptoms in common with one another:


  • cough
  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • fatigue or tiredness
  • fever
  • headaches
  • muscle aches
  • nausea or vomiting (more common among children than adults)
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat


The symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can range from none to mild or severe.  In any event, due to these similarities it can be hard to diagnose which condition you have. That is why it is important that you undergo the COVID test to make sure that you are not infected.


 To learn more about the above or to schedule a Thornhill COVID test, contact All Health Medical Centre today at (866) 837-8447.