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Swine flu and Corona … which is more dangerous to humans? Today, Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 04:34 pm
Richard Watkins, professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University, agrees with Adalja, saying: “Covid-19 can lead to organ damage and long-term symptoms, and this does not appear with swine flu.”
What is swine flu?
Swine flu was one of the new viruses (H1N1) that appeared in the spring of 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As for Covid-19, it is a new coronavirus. So, swine flu and Covid-19 are two different types of viruses.
Swine flu was first detected in the United States and then spread around the world, containing a mixture of influenza genes not previously seen in animals or humans.
“It was a new virus that passed from pigs to humans,” Adalja says. Likewise, Coronavirus is also a zoonotic disease, which means that it has spread from animals to humans, although there is no confirmation of this yet.
And he confirms that swine flu comes back every year, while Michelle Dalla Piazza, an assistant professor at Rutgers College of Medicine, New Jersey, tells Health magazine: “The H1N1 flu strain continues to circulate every flu season.”
How many of the two pandemics died?
From April 12, 2009 through April 10, 2010, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that up to 60 million 800,000 people have contracted swine flu.
The flu has led to an estimated 274,304 hospital deaths. According to estimates, swine flu kills 12,469 people every year.
This death toll is in stark contrast to the current coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 injuries are still increasing, as they have reached about 40 million so far, knowing that the year is not over yet, while deaths have reached more than one million people.
But comparing cases of swine flu with Covid-19 is difficult, Thomas Russo, professor and chair of the infectious diseases department at the University of Buffalo, tells Health.
“With Covid-19, we count the documented cases, but with swine flu, it is related to the estimates of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and therefore not all cases of influenza have been documented,” he says.
Despite this, in general, “the impact of the Corona pandemic has been more devastating,” says Dr. Dalla Piazza. And she adds: “Some of the reasons are due to the lack of treatment or prevention of the disease as was the case with H1N1.”
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of other strains of flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control. These include: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. In some cases, people with swine flu have vomiting and diarrhea.
As for the Coronavirus, there are a group of symptoms associated with Covid-19 disease, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, the most common are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body pain, headache, new loss of the sense of taste or smell, and sore throat Congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
How is the diagnosis made?
Because both viruses can have similar symptoms, it is difficult for doctors to distinguish between them without laboratory testing, Adalja says.
Both are diagnosed in a similar way. The Centers for Disease Control says that the following methods of testing for Covid-19 are acceptable through a nasopharyngeal swab, oropharyngeal swab, middle nose swab, anterior nasal swab or nasopharyngeal lotion.
Dalga says that swine flu is diagnosed in the same way as other influenza types, including a nasopharyngeal swab, a throat swab, or a nasopharyngeal wash. There is a rapid test for both Covid-19 and influenza, which can show results within hours.
What about vaccinations?
Again, swine flu is just one strain of the annual flu, so it’s treated that way, says Dr. Adalja.
This means that the flu vaccine is believed to help protect against infection with the virus or, at least, from developing serious complications from swine flu.
Swine flu can also be treated with antiviral drugs. According to the FDA, this includes oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), peramivir (Rapivab), or paloxavir Mar-Boxil.
“When swine flu appeared, at least some people had immunity, which helped protect them from getting very sick from the strain when it did,” Adalja says. “We had a very well-equipped vaccine and antiviral development process,” he added.
On the other hand, so far, there is no approved treatment or vaccine for Coronavirus. Watkins says that many hospital patients are being treated with the steroid dexamethasone and the anti-viral remdesivir.
But again, these are not approved treatments. And Adalja adds: “With regard to the new Corona virus, we do not have a vaccine, nor antivirals, nor population immunity.”
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