The difference between COVID-19 and other respiratory issues

Covid-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus strain. It is a contagious disease that spreads from person to person mainly through the respiratory route, that is via coughing, sneezing, talking or breathing. With COVID -19 cases rapidly multiplying in the country, comparisons have been drawn to other respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, flu and seasonal allergies. While most of these have similar symptoms including fever, body aches, chills, and cough, each can be distinguished by its impact on the human body. Certain strains of the coronavirus are quite common and only cause mild symptoms. However, some strains are more severe and can cause complications in certain age groups. Drawing distinctions among these illnesses will help the public implement proper measures when responding to the virus.

How does COVID-19 affect the body differently than other respiratory illnesses?

Covid-19 tends to infect the body by entering healthy cells. After invading, it makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout the body, leading to the elimination of several healthy cells. In many cases, it can also lead to lung inflammation – making it tough to breathe – or even cause pneumonia, an infection of tiny air sacs inside the lungs, wherein blood exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide.

How does COVID-19 affect the respiratory tract?

  • COVID-19 appears to be approximately 10 times deadlier than the flu. People who contract the virus face a far greater risk of fatality than those who catch the common flu.
  • It is infrequent for both to cause fever and fatigue. Symptoms such as body aches and headache tend to be more common with the flu than with COVID-19 .
  • Nasal congestion and a runny nose are common with the flu but quite rare with COVID-19 .
  • Additionally, COVID-19 may also cause a loss of smell or taste sensation. The flu generally doesn’t affect the same.
  • In a case of COVID-19 infection, symptoms also last longer, taking around three weeks to clear, compared to the flu, wherein a person recovers in about a week’s time.

Since most respiratory disorders have overlapping symptoms, respiratory allergies also share common symptoms with COVID-19, resulting in misguided panic among patients. It is important that one must be sure about the source of symptoms to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

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