Flu vs. coronavirus: What are the similarities and differences?

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Coronavirus has been compared to a bad case of the flu. The two are similar, but they also have many differences as well.

Dr. Dean Hart has his masters in biology with a specialization in microbiology. He notes the similarities between the flu and COVID-19 -- like symptoms of fever, coughing, night sweats and tiredness, and that both are not treatable with antibiotics.

"The coronavirus is about the size of the wavelength of light. It's enormously small, it's a single strand of RNA," says Hart.

Hart also says both the flu and coronavirus are contracted through mucus membranes, whether it be through the eyes, nose mouth or ears.

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But there are major differences to note. According to the CDC, the coronavirus will have additional tell-tale symptoms like shortness of breath. The coronavirus also has no vaccine and humans have not built up immunity over generations for it.

"The coronavirus does not seem to be sensitive to sunlight and warmer temperatures, so that's not dying off and it's increasing dramatically as the flu decreases," says Hart.

Dr. Hart says bottom line -- there just isn't enough data yet on the coronavirus.

"Realize there's only 1,000 people in a country of 350 million people who have it," says Hart. "So we have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."


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