COVID-19 vs. The Flu: Telling The Difference In Your Child

Levittown Pediatrics

Our Levittown Pediatrics at Pediatric Associates of Plainview office knows flu season can be stressful for parents. If your child is feeling under the weather, it can be difficult to recognize the underlying reason for their illness. With COVID-19 affecting the whole world, it can be difficult to properly diagnose your child due to the similarities it has with the flu. Both the flu and COVID-19 are both very contagious respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms. Some of these similar symptoms include fevers, coughs, runny noses, fatigue, sore throat, headaches, muscle pain, and commonly in children vomiting or diarrhea. Varying degrees of symptoms for both viruses can range from no symptoms to severe symptoms. However, there are key differences between the two viruses. Let’s take a deeper look at the differences between the flu and COVID-19.


Differences Between COVID-19 and Influenza

There are many different factors that distinguish both COVID-19 and the flu from each other that our Levittown Pediatrics wants to share with you. COVID-19 is caused by a virus known as SARS-CoV-2 while the flu is caused by influenza viruses. The flu can cause mild to severe illnesses while COVID-19 can cause more serious illnesses. COVID-19 can also cause more serious illnesses, spread quicker, and take longer for symptoms to show which can make someone more contagious. The flu’s serial interval is about 3 days while COVID-19’s is about 5-6 days. Mortality rates appear to be higher in COVID-19 rather than the flu. In children, they are essential drivers to the spread of the flu while COVID-19 seems to not affect children as much as adults. Children are more at risk of obtaining a severe influenza virus rather than COVID-19 which affects more of the elderly and people who suffer from certain diseases that can increase the risk of severe infections. One of the biggest differences between the two viruses is that there is a vaccine for the flu and not for COVID-19. It’s important to get a test for COVID-19 to really find a true diagnosis for your child. 


Levittown Pediatrics

Flu season can create many questions for parents whose children are showing symptoms of influenza. COVID-19 and the flu both share similar symptoms that can cause confusion when trying to distinguish both viruses. The only true way of finding out is to get tested for COVID-19. Pediatric Associates of Plainview’s Levittown pediatrics office can help with any information you may need if you’re not sure if your child has the flu or COVID-19. For more information check out our website. 

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