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New study shows difference between Covid-19 and flu

Credit: Belga

At first glance the new coronavirus (Covid-19) and influenza may seem very similar, but they differ in many regards, according to a new study by the University of Hasselt and Jessa Hospital.

People infected with influenza (flu) have, for example, higher fevers and higher white blood-cell counts, according to the study reported on by Het Belang van Limburg.

University of Hasselt (UHasselt) doctorate student Valentino D’Onofrio conducted a comparative study on 103 flu patients admitted to the hospital from February 2019 to February 2020, and 113 Covid-19 patients hospitalised at Jessa between March and late May.

“By using clinical parametres and lab measurements,” he explained, “we were able to find many significant differences between Covid and flu.”

In addition to higher fevers and white blood cell count, flu patients also had more bacterial co-infections. On the other hand, Covid-19 patients had more inflammation fluid in the lungs.

The study can be of precious help in differentiating between patients at a time when it takes three hours to obtain the result of a Covid-19 test on a patient admitted to Emergency with severe symptoms.

“Now that we have a better knowledge of the differences between flu and Covid-19, we can reduce waiting times and apply isolation measures faster,” D’Onofrio stressed

“Additionally, we can make faster decisions on adequate treatment, which will help save lives.”

The Brussels Times