What's the difference between
coronavirus and flu?

What's the difference between flu and coronavirus?


  • Both flu and coronavirus (aka covid-19 and influenza) are infectious viruses that lead to respiratory illnesses.

  • The symptoms can be very similar, including fever, cough, shortness of breath.

  • Both can be relatively mild or can lead to serious problems such as pneumonia.

  • For both,elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions are most at risk of the virus leading to life-threatening illness.
  • Flu has been studied for many years but coronavirus is very new so we haven't developed a complete understanding of it yet.

  • Both are transmitted from person to person, through sneezing and coughing, for example. It is perhaps possible that transmission of coronavirus is also through droplets which remain in the air after th infected person has gone.

  • There is a vaccination to guard against common flu, a vaccination against coronavirus is not yet available.

  • Statistically, a person is at this stage far more likelyto get flu.Around a billion people a year globally get flu, at the moment (March 2020), around 150,000 have coronavirus.

  • Probably because coronavirus is an unknown quantity, it has caused fear and panic. One way in which this panic has shown itself is in the stockpiling of toilet roll. No one is quite sure why this has happened.


This is not a medical guide.
If you have health concerns,
please consult
a more serious source.