It runs through all the whatsapps and bars the runrun that the coronavirus of Wuhan, the Covid-19, is the same as a flu. Actually, although in both cases it is a virus, the truth is that we are dealing with two quite different diseases. Let’s take it one step at a time.

The first thing to bear in mind is that the mortality rate of both viruses is quite different: that of the flu is around 0.1% while the actual mortality of the coronavirus seems to be around 0.7%.

The second thing to bear in mind is that we are talking about a much more contagious virus. Just think that the Wuhan virus is transmitted through the air and can thus infect everyone around the sick patient without physical contact. Imagine what the infectious capacity of the virus is in a closed space like an airplane, where everyone has to necessarily breathe the same air several times during a flight.

In addition to this increased infectivity, the coronavirus also differs from the flu virus in that its incubation period is significantly longer. While in conventional flu the virus needs between 18 and 48 hours of incubation, the coronavirus can remain between 14 and 24 days in the body of the patient without showing symptoms of illness but, at the same time, be transmitted to other people who, as we said before, are simply close to the infected person without any physical contact.

This increased ability to spread also stems from the fact that the flu virus can only live a few hours outside the host. Under normal conditions, the flu virus is transmitted mainly through physical contact, since sick people touch liquids and mucous membranes from their own virus-infected body with their hands. In the case of the COVID-19 virus this survival period outside a host is estimated to be as long as 9 days.

Another significant difference is that the recovery period of the coronavirus is between 2 and 6 weeks while in the case of conventional influenza virus recovery occurs between 5 and 10 days.

Another essential difference is that the disease can leave sequelae and the lungs can create what is called bee panels, consisting of some cavities in which the lungs stop working properly in the same way that occurs in other serious diseases such as tuberculosis.

In short, no sensationalism or panic but information.


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