Sunday 01 November 2020
Books – Sayed Metwally
With the reception of the winter season, the risk of infection with the emerging coronavirus and influenza increases, which threatens our health very seriously in the current period.
Coronavirus is still here and experts are urging people to get the flu vaccine as the new Corona virus outbreak.
Seasonal influenza differs from Covid-19 and influenza strains change every year, and its symptoms are also different from the coronavirus, as they are both transmitted differently.
Both are spread through droplets, which is why preventive measures like wearing face masks and social distancing are taken, and understanding how the two diseases spread can help you determine which virus you have if you start to feel tired.
But experts said that there are four ways in which the deadly Covid-19 spreads differently compared to influenza, according to the British newspaper “thesun”.
1- Less immunity
So far, no vaccine has been found for Covid-19, while a new flu vaccine is developed every year to fight the latest strain of the virus.
Lynsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who studies airborne viruses, said that Covid is spreading more than influenza due to the fact that we have not yet seen immunity to the virus.
She added that due to the fact that the population has lower immunity, we are more likely to witness extreme outbreaks of Covid-19.
2- Without symptoms
The symptoms of the flu are the same as those of the Coronavirus, and you will likely have a high temperature.
If you have the flu, you may also have a dry cough while with the flu you will have a persistent cough.
With the flu, you’ll likely get headaches and loss of appetite as well, while experts have found that some people with Covid don’t have symptoms.
This is another reason why Covid spreads more than influenza – if people have the virus and don’t know they have it – because they don’t have any symptoms, they can inadvertently pass it on to others.
Experts say that about 40 to 50 percent of people who contract the virus have no symptoms.
While some cases of flu can also be asymptomatic – the incubation period for COVID is longer.
Marr said that the incubation period for Covid can last up to 14 days, in good flu symptoms most people appear within three days, so the period of time during which they can spread the virus is much shorter.
Influenza viral load also does not begin until symptoms appear, while with Covid this may take up to two weeks.
3- The spread of the virus
According to Marr, a person with influenza is, on average, likely to spread disease in a ratio of 1 to 1.3 people, while with Covid, this increases from 2 to 2.5 people.
Wearing masks helps stop the spread of viruses as not many drops can come out.
Mar added that the reason why Covid spreads so easily is the measures taken by the public, so effective social distancing and the use of face masks must be applied.
4- The difference in infection in children
Several studies have found that the transmission of the coronavirus is different in children compared to adults.
Research by experts at King’s College London has previously found that children have different viral symptoms than adults.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that children are important when it comes to influenza, as they are important factors in the spread of the influenza virus in society.
Regarding the Coronavirus, preliminary data indicates that children are less affected than adults and that hospitalization rates in the 0-19 age group are low.
More preliminary data from studies of home transmission in China indicate that children are infected with adults, not the other way around.
The World Health Organization also states that children are most at risk when it comes to severe influenza infection, such as pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses.