Influenza A and COVID-19: Be Aware of the Symptoms

Influenza A and COVID-19 are respiratory diseases caused by viruses that spread easily through droplets of saliva or respiratory secretions released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Influenza A is a seasonal disease that typically occurs in the fall and winter, while COVID-19 can occur at any time of year. Read this article to learn about the symptoms, how to prevent the spread of the disease and how to act in case of illness.

Influenza A 

Seasonal influenza can be caused by the influenza A or B virus. The symptoms are similar, but they are usually more intense in the case of influenza A.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue

In the case of influenza A, higher fever and vomiting or diarrhea may also occur. The incubation period for influenza A varies from 3 to 10 days, with an average of 7 days.

COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by a different virus, but it can also cause symptoms similar to those of the flu. However, it can include distinct symptoms, such as:

  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The incubation period for COVID-19 is generally 4 to 5 days, but it can vary from 1 to 14 days.

At-Risk Groups

Some people are at increased risk of developing serious complications from the flu, such as pneumonia or respiratory failure:

  • Children under 2 years old
  • People with chronic diseases, such as heart disease, lung disease, metabolic diseases, and/or kidney disease
  • Pregnant women or postpartum women
  • People with immune system disorders (HIV, in treatment...)

How to Prevent

In addition to vaccination, there are other measures that can help prevent the flu:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your arm when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently
  • Wear a mask in public places or with heavy traffic

What to Do If You Have Symptoms?

If you have symptoms of the flu, stay home and rest and drink plenty of fluids. You can put saline solution to relieve nasal congestion and, if you have a fever, take paracetamol (in the proper dosage).

Do not go to the emergency room immediately. The excess of traffic to the emergency room can increase the risk of contagion. You should only go to the emergency room if the symptoms are severe, such as high fever, difficulty breathing, or chest pain.

Why Talk to an Online Doctor?

If you have any questions about how to proceed or what medications to take to relieve symptoms, talking to an online doctor is a safe and convenient alternative. You can book an appointment online quickly and at an affordable price, for both adults and children.

Book your GP appointment now by video call or phone.

Stay healthy,

Dr.Online®

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