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Texas Medical Association Addresses Difference Between COVID-19 and Influenza

By Lauren Jurgemeyer
Web Content Manager

SAN MARCOS, Texas–Texas Medical Association (TMA) released information on March 12 regarding information Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to recognize it against influenza. 

Physicians and other medical experts have distinguished several similarities and differences between the two diseases. Both viruses have similar symptoms which can be mild, severe, or even result in death. 

Transference of both viruses are similar as well and can be transmitted via physical contact, droplets (from sneezes and coughs), and contact to infected surfaces such as: door handles and handrails, clothes, utensils and furniture. 

To combat transference, follow the common health procedures of hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, coughing or sneezing into elbows, and dispose of used tissues. These procedures can be vital in virus prevention. 

With similar symptoms, the TMA said that there is a major difference between patients suffering from severe cases of COVID-19 and influenza

“The flu spreads faster than COVID-19, which can take 5 to 6 days to spread person to person,” TMA said. “Also, flu can be transmitted before someone has symptoms, a major factor in the spread of influenza.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that a carrier for COVID-19 can share the virus 24 to 48 hours prior to symptom onset whereas the flu can transmit three to-five-days when the person is pre-symptomatic. 

“Data suggests that 80% of COVID-19 infections are mild or asymptomatic,” WHO said, “but 15% are severe infections requiring oxygen and 5% are critical infections requiring intensive care.”

Experts have said that elderly with preexisting conditions have an increased risk of COVID-19. WHO is reporting that children are more likely to catch COVID-19 from adults rather than vice versa, in contrast to children being more likely to transmit flu to adults.

Currently, scientists are developing over 20 COVID-19 vaccines, but they are currently not available. While the flu vaccine is not effective against COVID-19, it is a preventative measure against influenza.

TMA has established continuous updates on their site. Check back with KTSW for updates concerning the San Marcos area. 

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