prevention, treatment and how to know if it is Covid-19 or not

Understand the difference between the flu and Covid-19

Understand the difference between the flu and Covid-19

Photo: Shutterstock / Saúde em Dia

live a flu wave, for a long time, it was something common and that did not cause so much concern in people. However, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, things have changed a bit. As the symptoms of the two infections are very similar, fears, doubts and uncertainties usually take over the thinking of those who start to have a runny nose, cough and fever.

And with the arrival of the cold front last week, there was also a wave of flu. Which is normal, as the increase in respiratory diseases is common when the temperature drops and the climate becomes drier. A lot of this happens because we go to more closed places, with little air circulation and an environment conducive to the spread of viruses.

How to know if it’s the flu or Covid-19

But as the Covid-19 pandemic is not over, it is still common to confuse infections. “As the symptoms are very similar, that is, they can all manifest as cough, runny nose and sometimes even fever, among other respiratory occurrences, clinically it is very difficult to differentiate between a simple exacerbated allergic rhinosinusitis and a picture of flu. by the influenza virus or even Covid-19”, explains the infectious disease doctor, Dr. Ricardo Paul Kosop.

That is, it is difficult even for a specialist to differentiate one infection from another. For the patient, then, it is practically impossible. In this way, the recommendation in case of suspicion is to seek an immediate clinical evaluation and carry out tests for coronavirus and influenza.

“As we are in a pandemic, any and all respiratory symptoms said to be new must be investigated to confirm or deny the diagnosis of Covid-19, since this is the virus with the greatest circulation at the moment and has a great collective impact. helps both in the diagnosis and treatment of the patient, as well as in the isolation orientation of him and his contacts”, adds Dr. Kosop.


To avoid contagion, both the flu and Covid-19, care is basically the same. Use of masks, constant hygiene of hands and surfaces and escape from closed environments and agglomerations are the main ways to avoid respiratory infections in general. In addition, it is also essential to correctly take the influenza and coronavirus vaccines.

Keeping immunity up to date, with a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals is also important for the body to be able to fight viruses. In addition, having an active life, with the practice of regular physical activities can reduce the risks of contracting a more serious infection, whether from the flu or Covid-19.


In most cases, the flu-infected patient only needs rest, good nutrition and adequate hydration to recover from the illness. However, when symptoms become more aggressive, or last for several days, it is best to see a doctor immediately. The prescription of specific drugs and monitoring of the condition can be essential to avoid complications.

Source: Dr. Ricardo Paul Kosop, infectious disease physician and member of Doctoralia.

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