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How to spot the difference: COVID-19 or Flu?

Health • by Paul de Beyer • 17 June 2020
There’s little doubt that our lives’ have been changed forever. COVID-19 has left each and every one of us reeling as we struggle to settle into the “new normal” of this global pandemic world.

As the lockdown eases, now is the time to really get to grips with what the coronavirus looks like and how to spot if someone close to us might be symptomatic.

What are the similarities?

The best way to protect yourself is to know what to look for, especially as we enter the winter flu season. There are distinct similarities between normal influenza and COVID-19, especially in the early stages of both diseases. These similarities include:

These symptoms can vary from very mild to quite severe, depending on your immune system. As both diseases develop, they can both ultimately result in pneumonia and severe respiratory distress.

How do I tell them apart?

With all the similarities between COVID-19 and flu, it can be very difficult to tell them apart. The major difference between the two is that COVID-19, more often than not but not always, commonly presents with a shortness of breath.

The greater issue with COVID-19 is that it spreads very easily. Many carriers can be almost entirely symptom free and still spread the disease without realising it. Ensuring that you wear a mask at all times when in public and keeping high-alcohol-based hand sanitiser with you at all times will help curb the spread. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water as often as you can, especially if you’ve been in a public space.

When should I get tested?

If you do feel that you’re experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, you can get tested at one of the many testing points throughout South Africa. However, testing is still limited and you should only go for a test if you’re very certain that you’ve contracted the disease to limit the burden on the healthcare system and limited resources.

To qualify for a test, you need to fit the direct COVID-19 case definition which includes:

The sudden onset of one of the following symptoms:

You must also have:

For more information on COVID-19, call toll-free 0800 029 999 or 0800 111 132 or send “Hi” on WhatsApp to 060 012 3456 to get the latest updates.

GetSavvi with your health TODAY!

Take the next step in protecting yourself and your family during this global epidemic by applying for medical insurance. Get insured today for financial peace of mind during these troubling times. Click here, fill in the form and get covered now!

Looking for more Covid-19-related information? 

Click here, for our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dos and Don’ts infographic.

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