BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative





Although, the early symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza (flu) infections are similar in that they both cause fever and similar respiratory symptoms, the speed of transmission is an important difference between the two viruses. Influenza typically has a shorter incubation period (the time from infection to appearance of symptoms) than COVID-19, which means that influenza spreads faster than COVID-19. On the other hand, the proportion with severe disease appears to be higher for COVID-19 given that approximately 15% of infected people have severe symptoms and 5% require intensive care in a hospital. Generally, the proportions of severe and critical COVID-19 infections are higher compared to influenza infections.

Currently, the World Health Organization suggests that the risk for contracting coronavirus from someone who isn’t showing any symptoms is quite low. However, experts believe that people infected with coronavirus can possibly transmit it to others even before showing any serious symptoms. According to the CDC, people who have contracted the virus are most contagious when they’re showing symptoms- and that’s when they’re most likely to transmit the virus. CDC maintains that COVID-19 is not limited by race as infection can make anyone sick regardless of their ethnicity. However, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus is thought to increase by age- higher in older adults compared to younger adults. Older adults and people of any age with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease, have weaker immunity, are more vulnerable and are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The overall period of COVID-19 infection varies from person to person and depends on the immune system of the host. Mild symptoms in an otherwise healthy individual may resolve in about a few days. However, recovery in older or unhealthy individuals with underlying health problems, such as respiratory conditions, may take weeks and in severe cases lead to mortality. People who have completed quarantine or have been released from isolation pose no risk of infection to others and should not be stigmatized. Experts emphasize there isn’t a specific course of treatment for corona virus infection, considering that a new strain of virus causes it. Therefore, one must heed the general advice and take the standard precautionary measures as these can help to strengthen the immune system.

It is uncertain how long COVID-19 specifically survives on surfaces but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses- persisting on varying surfaces from some hours up to several days, depending on the material. This duration may be influenced by different conditions and factors such as the type of surface, as well as the temperature and humidity of the environment.  Maintaining proper hygiene and cleanliness remain the best ways to protect one-self. Surfaces thought to be exposed should be wiped thoroughly with household disinfectant to kill the virus and keep the surface clean. Hands must be regularly and constantly cleaned with alcohol-based sanitizers or washed for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Additionally, it is important to avoid touching the face, eyes, mouth, or nose with unclean hands.

Today, most of the world is on lockdown with borders, airports, companies, schools, churches mosques and stores shut down in order to contain the spread of the virus. Countries such as China, Italy, the United States- representing three continents, have had the highest cases so far. It is advised that people, especially those experiencing symptoms, should wear masks and hand gloves, call their hospital or public health hotlines, stay at home and not go out to public areas, not use public transport, taxis, or ride-sharing services and not attend public events such as religious gatherings, social events, music festivals or sporting matches.

As Always, Stay Safe!

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