What is the Difference Between the Flu and COVID-19?

As we progress through the 2020 cold and flu season, this year brings even more concern because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hygiene practices like frequently washing hands and wearing masks are much more top of mind, but the unfortunate reality is that people can still get sick.

If you happen to fall ill during this cold and flu season, you may be asking yourself – is this the flu or COVID-19? Since both the flu and COVID-19 are contagious upper respiratory diseases caused by viruses, there are some similar characteristics. However, there are also key differences that can help you determine whether an illness is the flu or COVID-19.

COVID-19 vs. Flu

Similarities Between the COVID-19 and Flu Viruses

Let’s start with the similarities between COVID-19 and the flu. First, these viruses are spread in similar ways. They can pass from person to people in close contact from respiratory droplets released through coughing, sneezing or talking. These viruses can also spread by touching a surface containing infected droplets and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose.

Since these are both upper respiratory diseases, they also share similar signs and symptoms that can range from mild to severe. These symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Tiredness
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting

Differences Between the COVID-19 and Flu Viruses

The primary difference between COVID-19 and the flu is that they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is cause by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, while the flu is caused by the influenza A and B viruses.

Symptoms, while similar, also appear at different times – COVID-19 symptoms appear two to 14 days after exposure, while flu symptoms appear one to four days after exposure. Unlike the flu, those infected with COVID-19 tend to lose their sense of taste or smell for several weeks. COVID-19 symptoms can also be much more severe, resulting in a higher frequency of hospitalizations and lung damage, and a higher mortality rate.

Considering the similarities of symptoms between COVID-19 and the flu, it’s recommended to visit your doctor to get tested if you are sick. A COVID-19 test will help you and your doctor determine if you’re suffering from this new virus or the seasonal flu.

COVID-19 Response at Ventana by Buckner

As a commitment to our Members and staff, Ventana by Buckner has implemented strategic plans and precautions to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because senior adults appear to be most vulnerable to the virus, we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation through information, calls and webinars provided regularly by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

We spoke with a few Members to get a sense of how they’re feeling about living at Ventana during this time. According to Scott and Nancy Morgan, they have felt extremely safe at Ventana throughout the course of the pandemic

“Well, what can I say? This is an experience none of us has experienced in our lifetime,” Scott and Nancy said. “Ventana has taken all of the necessary steps to keep us safe and protected. The staff/associates have been very professional and knowledgeable. They have kept us informed from the very beginning of this experience and continue to do so. This is very important to us…Even though we feel isolated at times, we are happy to be at Ventana because we know we are cared for.”

Our team continues to evaluate and update our policies and how we respond to this situation as it develops. Please reference this page on our parent company’s website for the most up-to-date announcements and information.

Experience a Safe, Healthy Lifestyle at Ventana by Buckner

At Ventana by Buckner, the health and well-being of our Members and staff is our top priority. For any questions regarding our policies or for more information on our safety protocols, please feel free to contact our team.