Most people are going to assume the worst, that it’s COVID, because people are still scared.
The CDC estimates that the annual range for the number of US influenza illnesses between 9-41 million people, hospitalizations of 140,000-710,000, and deaths at 12,000-52,000. For comparison, during the last 7 days, the CDC reports 602,000 new cases of COVID in the US with a current daily death rate of 1300 (down from a peak of 4200/day in January). If you are keeping track of this, the total number of US deaths since the virus entered the country in January 2020 is 716,000 as of 10/14/21. The number of cases of either flu is not dramatically different. However, the number of COVID deaths is much higher than the regular influenza.
Prior to COVID, the expectation of winter flu was generally expected and accepted. Some people would take an annual influenza shot, hoping to prevent it while others avoided shots due to either the ineffectiveness of the shots, since the vaccines were developed based upon guesswork for the next year’s likely virus combination or people believed that the symptoms caused by the shots were little different in discomfort to the actual flu itself.
The initial symptoms of COVID vs. influenza are strikingly similar. In fact they are so similar that at the very beginning only lab-testing can identify which one you have. According to the CDC, influenza and COVID share the following symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Change in or loss of taste or smell, although this is more frequent with COVID-19
With the Flu, a person may feel symptoms, within 1-4 days of infection; with COVID, symptoms may take longer to appear, anywhere from between 2-14 days, though typically it’s 5 days. However with COVID, the symptoms can get progressively worse, will cause higher rates of hospitalizations and death even with previously healthy people, is much more readily transmitted, and can cause more serious long-term respiratory conditions and blood clots. COVID also is producing mutations (variants) at a much higher rate than influenza, making it much more difficult to prevent through vaccination. The result is that it is very likely that COVID will be with us for a long time,
Okay, so this is a depressing article. We can try and cheer you up just a little with some Seagate Olive Leaf Mint Tea: