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COVID-19 & Flu

How does COVID-19 differ from Influenza?

As both COVID-19 and Influenza are respiratory illnesses, they have many common characteristics. However, they also have key differences.

  • Both COVID-19 and Influenza may cause symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and body aches. However, COVID-19 may also affect a person’s sense of taste or smell.
  • Symptoms of both COVID-19 and Influenza may not appear right away. Influenza symptoms typically appear 1 to 4 days after infection, while COVID-19 symptoms typically appear after 5 days. However, COVID-19 symptoms could appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after infection.
  • Individuals with COVID-19 or Influenza may spread the virus before experiencing any symptoms. Individuals with Influenza are generally contagious from a day before experiencing symptoms up to seven days. Individuals with COVID-19 may be contagious two days before experiencing symptoms up to ten days.
  • Both COVID-19 and Influenza can spread between people who are in close contact with each other. Infected individuals produce droplets when they cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land on other people or on nearby surfaces. If a person touches a surface that has the virus on it, then touches their face, they may be infected. It is important to be aware of the fact that COVID-19 is more contagious compared to influenza, particularly among susceptible groups