COVID-19, Severe acute respiratory syndrome and flu. What different and which Symptoms tell you about that
According to scientists and medical researching
During a pandemic, many are interested in what is the difference between coronavirus and influenza and SARS. This is not just an idle interest in a sensational topic, but a desire to thoroughly understand everything, because life can depend on such knowledge. Prevention of these diseases reduces the likelihood of their spread.
What is coronavirus, flu and SARS?
All of these pathologies are respiratory diseases. However, coronavirus, ARVI and influenza have their own characteristics. This applies to pathogens, the incubation period, the course of pathology and caused complications. Understanding these features is easy. Some key points:
1. Coronavirus infection is caused by a mutated RNA-containing virus.
2. The causative agents of ARVI can be over 300 types of infectious agents. These include, for example, rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, reoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus.
3. Influenza is a respiratory disease caused by viruses of groups A, B and C. The disease can occur in the form of epidemics and pandemics.
The mechanism of transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, influenza and coronavirus
The source of infection in all these cases is an infected person. The virus that causes the disease spreads with droplets of fluid when breathing out air, sneezing, coughing, or even during a conversation. Getting on the mucous membrane of the nose, eyes or mouth of a healthy person, the infectious agent quickly moves into the respiratory tract and begins to actively engage.
The airborne transmission of the virus provides another option for infection. Its essence is as follows:
1. The virus released with droplets of liquid gets on furniture, floor and other objects of use.
2. Here it is attached to dust particles, and then again is understood into the air. The difference between coronavirus and other viruses is that on a plastic and stainless surface it can maintain its viability for 3 days. For comparison: an infectious agent that provokes the development of influenza lives only a few hours at room temperature.
Another method of transfer is via contact path. The distribution mechanism is as follows:
1. When sneezing or coughing, the infected person covers his mouth with his palm. As a result, viruses settle on the surface of the skin.
2. Infectious agents are transmitted to healthy people by shaking hands and using common household items.
SARS has other transmission methods:
- adenovirus is spread by water;
- reoviruses are transmitted by the fecal-oral route.
The incubation period of coronavirus, influenza and SARS
This period lasts from the moment the infectious agent enters the body until the first symptoms appear. Identification of coronavirus from influenza and SARS occurs by comparing the incubation period of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. The duration of this period is as follows:
Flu - 1-2 days;
SARS - 1-5 days;
COVID-19 has 1-14 days.
Symptoms of SARS, influenza and coronavirus
These diseases have a similar beginning. However, the intensity of the manifestation of symptoms may vary. With SARS, the symptoms increase gradually. With influenza and coronavirus, symptoms develop rapidly. In how to distinguish the symptoms of acute respiratory viral infections, influenza and coronavirus, temperature indicators accompanying these diseases will help. Their meanings are as follows:
- with coronavirus - 38 °C-40 °C
- with flu - 38 °C-39 °C
- with a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - from 37.5 °C to 38.7 °C
Signs of similarity and differences of coronavirus, SARS, influenza
Only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis. He knows how to distinguish coronavirus from influenza and SARS. When making a diagnosis, he will be guided by the results of tests submitted by the patient and the manifesting signs of the disease. Comparison of SARS, influenza and coronavirus allows you to cancel that, although these diseases have much in common, they also have differences. They are expressed in the intensity of the manifestation of individual symptoms and emerging complications.
The similarity of coronavirus with influenza and SARS
These respiratory diseases have a lot in common. Here are the signs of coronavirus, SARS, and influenza:
- redness of the throat;
- pain in the eyes;
- increase in body temperature;
- pallor of the skin;
- decreased appetite.
These diseases, although there are many similarities, have cardinal differences.
The most significant difference between coronavirus and influenza and SARS is the danger of the disease. The available facts help to judge this. A table of differences between coronavirus and SARS and influenza sheds light on some of these key points. However, one cannot neglect the following facts:
1. Mortality. According to preliminary data, from 1% to 3.4% of infected people die from coronavirus infection. For comparison: 0.1% of infected become victims of seasonal flu. For this reason, the difference between COVID-19 coronavirus from influenza and SARS is that the risk of dying from a new disease is much higher.
2. Immunity. Many people already have antibodies to various strains of seasonal flu. The virus that provokes COVID-19 is new to humanity, so there is no immunity to it. The similarity and difference between the symptoms of coronavirus from influenza and acute respiratory viral infections sometimes makes it difficult to make an accurate diagnosis, which is why therapy is incorrectly prescribed.
3. The vaccine. There are vaccines and medications to prevent and treat seasonal flu. There are no approved drugs for COVID-19. And the vaccine at this stage is only at the development stage.
4. The incubation period. This is another important feature that distinguishes coronavirus from influenza and SARS. In COVID-19, the incubation period can reach 14 days. Because of this, a person infected with a coronavirus can infect significantly more people than with influenza or SARS.
5. Infectiousness. According to experts, coronavirus is infectious than seasonal flu strains. On average, infected COVID-19 can infect 2-2.5 people. As a result, the distribution chain of the coronavirus is launched, which is almost impossible to stop.
6. Risk groups. Seasonal flu is dangerous for children under 4 years of age and older people who have crossed the 65-year mark. With COVID-19, children are not at high risk. However, coronavirus is a particular danger to older people (from 50 years or more). At risk are diabetes, patients with heart failure, HIV-infected and cancer patients.
7. Hospitalization. In 80% of those infected, coronavirus infection is mild. The remaining 20% of those infected need hospitalization. In this case, a fourth of them ends up in intensive care. For comparison: with seasonal flu, only 2% of patients need hospitalization.
Prevention of influenza, SARS and coronavirus
There are a number of measures to prevent infection. Protection against influenza, coronavirus and SARS consists in observing the following recommendations:
1. Avoid crowds.
2. In public places, keep at least a meter from the rest.
3. Use medical masks and respirators.
4. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and use antiseptic gels and sprays.
5. Do not touch your face with dirty hands.
6. Ventilate the room, regularly do wet cleaning and humidify the air.
7. Drink plenty of fluids.
8. Strengthen the body's defense system using plant and synthetic immunostimulants.