Doctors and scientists are still learning about COVID-19, its symptoms, consequences and treatments. When it comes to the flu, the medical world has it down to a science. With an approved vaccine and prescription medications, such as antivirals to help us manage and decrease the severity and duration of the flu, we can protect ourselves from it now that flu season is here.
Below are five facts that shed more light on COVID-19 and the flu:
- Both COVID-19 and the flu are contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses.
- Both illnesses may cause similar symptoms, so it can be hard to tell the difference between the two — testing may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis.
- While there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, the flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death.
- Getting a flu vaccine this fall is more important than ever, both to reduce risk from the flu and to help conserve scarce healthcare resources.
- Social distancing, washing your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer between washes, and avoiding shared surfaces as much as possible can help protect from viruses in general, including the coronavirus and influenza viruses.
Read this CDC article for a full list of signs, symptoms, similarities and differences between COVID-19 and the flu.