Can Covid-19 be described as a bad flu?
Covid-19 is a disease caused by a recently discovered virus called SARS-CoV-2, which is a new type of coronavirus. A different virus causes influenza.
Both viruses cause respiratory disease and both are spread by contact, droplets and contaminated surfaces and objects, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Symptoms of Covid-19, such as a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or fever are also symptoms of flu.
About one in every five people with Covid-19 get seriously ill – higher than the proportion of people who get severe and critical infections from influenza, says the WHO. Unlike influenza, there are no vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.