Social Distance. Wear a Mask. Stop the Spread.

Mebele Onwuaduegbo | Reporter

These three terms have been at the forefront of 2020 since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early

March. It is now December, which the middle of the flu season in the United States. The flu season this year has been hectic due to the introduction of the coronavirus.

According to Mayo Clinic, the coronavirus and the flu have many similarities that make it hard to differentiate the two.

“The signs and symptoms of both diseases can range from no symptoms to mild or severe symptoms. Because COVID-19 and the flu have similar symptoms, it can be hard to diagnose which condition you have based on your symptoms alone. Testing may be done to see if you have COVID-19 or the flu. You can also have both diseases at the same time,” Mayo Clinic said.

Mayo Clinic continues to list similarities including the way both viruses spread.

“The viruses that cause COVID-19 and the flu spread in similar ways. They can both spread between people who are in close contact (within six feet). The viruses spread through respiratory droplets or aerosols released through talking, sneezing or coughing,” Mayo Clinic said.

Avon High School nurse Jennifer Denbrook said that COVID-19 is more dangerous compared to influenza since it’s a new disease.

“It’s more dangerous because of all of the unknown and the newness that we are seeing,” Denbrook said. “There are a lot of factors that we don’t understand, as far as why it affects some people worse than other individuals, whereas the flu has been around for a longer period of time.”

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the coronavirus and the flu have major key differences.

“COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people,” the CDC said. “Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.”

The CDC reports that there have been over 14 million cases of COVID-19 and over 282,000 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States, but minimal cases of the flu have been reported. Last year, over 38 million cases of the flu were reported, which resulted in 22,000 deaths.

KEY DIFFERENCES: COVID-19 spreads easier than the flu and can be more harmful to humans.
Symptoms like loss of taste or smell are only associated with COVID-19.

HOW MANY CASES AT AHS? 136 confirmed as of Dec. 19

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