Coronavirus: These are the symptoms of a cold, corona or flu infection

Flu, cold or coronavirus? These symptoms can be used to tell whether the disease could be Covid-19.

Flu-like infections and colds are not uncommon in autumn. Coupled with the global corona pandemic, however, the general uncertainty about symptoms of illness increases in the cold season: Is a sneeze the first sign of a corona infection? Do I just catch a cold? Or is a “normal” flu looming?

A basic answer cannot be given at this point in time, as some symptoms are similar and the course of the disease in corona patients is very different. But initial studies show that, depending on the disease, certain symptoms occur more frequently.

Corona and flu infection: What influences a severe course of the disease?

The coronavirus has kept Germany in suspense since the end of January. Over 500,000 Germans are now infected – and the trend is rising. In November, the Federal Republic of Germany shut down public life again in view of the increasing number of newly infected. Bars and theaters have to close, contacts are severely restricted. The “Lockdown Light” will initially apply until the beginning of December.

So far, mostly older patients over 75 and people with previous illnesses have been affected by severe courses of Covid 19 disease. Nevertheless, there are also younger patients with a difficult course, as the medical director of the Augsburg University Hospital, Michael Beyer, points out in an interview with our editorial team.

In the meantime, several studies also indicate that the ABO blood group can have an influence on the individual risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2. This affects both the likelihood of getting infected and the severity of symptoms. However, the studies are controversial and there is a need for further research for reliable results. The proportion of severe courses is significantly higher in Covid 19 patients than in flu patients. This is the result of a current study by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which compared Covid 19 patients with flu sufferers who each had to be hospitalized. On average, Covid 19 patients stayed longer in inpatient treatment and more often and longer in intensive care units.

According to the RKI, the risk groups for a severe course of influenza and COVID-19 are very similar: especially older people from 60 years of age or very old people and people with underlying diseases. The RKI therefore recommends an influenza vaccination in order to relieve the health system during the influenza wave and to prevent serious disease progression.

Which symptoms can occur with a corona infection?

But how do you differentiate a corona infection from the symptoms of the influenza viruses that circulate annually from the beginning of October to mid-May? Several examinations in which corona patients were in
China
and Singapore were examined, found that almost all infected had a fever. The second most common symptom was a dry cough. The results were from the trade magazines Lancet and JAMA released. The problem: Both symptoms are common with common flu. These symptoms are rarely seen with a cold.


According to the RKI, the symptoms of a SARS-CoV-2 infection recorded most frequently in the German reporting system also include mainly cough (in 42 percent of the recorded cases) and fever (33 percent). Other signs are runny nose (23 percent) and loss of smell and taste (17 percent). Pneumonia occurs in 2 percent of the recorded Covid-19 cases.

In addition, according to the RKI, the following symptoms can also occur: sore throat, shortness of breath, headache and body aches, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, skin rash, lymph node swelling, apathy and drowsiness. As a result, the symptoms vary greatly among those affected, and in some cases the disease is even symptom-free. It is therefore not yet possible to identify a clear clinical picture.

Only a corona test currently offers extensive security. With cold or flu symptoms one should also because of
Corona
At the moment, don’t just go to your family doctor, but call your family doctor or the family doctor emergency service on 116 117. When you should go to the doctor with a cold in general, read here. In
Bayern
If a corona infection is suspected, there is also the option of contacting one of the central test centers. In the corona test center at the fair
Augsburg
the offer will be expanded to 1200 tests a day from the beginning of November.


How do corona, flu and cold symptoms differ?

The health portal “aponet.de” made a comparison with cold and flu symptoms on behalf of pharmacies in September. “Banal colds” are therefore the easiest to distinguish, as you may feel sick, but not as completely powerless as with a real flu. In addition, colds often only hurt the throat at first, the cough usually only comes later. A cold also usually runs slowly. Droplet infection and smear infection are the most common transmission routes.

Flu illnesses, on the other hand, are difficult to differentiate from Covid 19 illnesses. The incubation period of the flu is relatively short, according to the RKI it is only one to two days – with Covid-19 it can take up to 14 days before symptoms appear.


“The symptoms can be very similar, especially in the early phase of the infection,” explained Sandra Ciesek, Professor of Medical Virology at Frankfurt’s Goethe University, in September. “Fever, headache, sore throat, runny nose and abdominal complaints such as abdominal pain and vomiting are common symptoms of both diseases.” As Ciesek recently said in Ed-Podcast (episode 57), manufacturers are currently preparing so-called multiplex PCR tests that can detect both pathogens with one swab.

We always keep up-to-date information on all developments relating to the coronavirus in our live blog.

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No more circle without new infections within seven days

FAZ newsletter “Hauptwache”

This is how the day begins in Frankfurt and Rhein-Main: the most important things in brief, with information on mobile speed cameras, road closures, restaurants.

29 of the 196 new infections are in Frankfurt, which has a total of 3,192 infected people since March. There are 18 more in the Offenbach district and 16 more in the Groß-Gerau district and 14 more in the Main-Kinzig district, in which 1,000 people recently had to be quarantined. All of these circles have recorded more than 1,000 infections since the pandemic began. A new case has been registered in the Werra-Meißner district, so no district in Hesse is no longer without new infections within seven days.

The freshly reported new cases correspond to 7.6 percent of the new infections that have become known in the federal government. Hessen makes up eight percent of the total population. On the one hand, the increase is slightly disproportionate. On the other hand, there is absolutely one of the strongest increases in recent weeks. In addition, double-digit increases, as seen at the beginning of the week, remained the exception.

As the federal institute, briefly called RKI, further explains on its website, there is another death to complain about in connection with the pandemic. In total, there have been officially 546 corona victims since March. 26 have been added since the beginning of August. Conversely, the group of those who have recovered is growing by the hundred every day. The RKI now assumes 16,200 children, women and men who have survived their infection. There are 29.6 recovered people per death, yet another new high since the pandemic began.

The economic consequences of the pandemic can be summed up in new figures: The Hessian economy shrank significantly in the first half of the year. The gross domestic product fell within a year, price-adjusted by 6.1 percent, as the State Statistical Office announced on Thursday in Wiesbaden, according to dpa. Without the price adjustment, the statisticians calculated a GDP decline of 3.9 percent.

According to the authority, the manufacturing industry had to post the greatest minus. Some service sectors such as the hospitality industry, aviation and travel agencies were particularly hard hit by the corona crisis. In contrast, there has been a positive development in the construction industry. The total of all goods and services produced is recorded in GDP.

Marburg waiting stand

Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Marburg and colleagues in Hamburg are still waiting for permission from the Paul Ehrlich Institute to test their corona vaccine candidate on people. A spokeswoman for the University of Marburg last said this to the FAZ On Tuesday, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) symbolically put a plant for filling a corona vaccine into operation at the drug manufacturer Sanofi. Sanofi is still working on the vaccine. It remains to be seen when it will be launched.

From a Frankfurt point of view, the following is fundamentally important: the positive tests taken at the airport are not assigned to the city. Rather, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs, they are reflected in the statistics of the health department, which is responsible for the respective returnee. This can also be the Frankfurt office or another in Hesse, but also an authority in another federal state.

As the RKI further informed the FAZ, it does not officially collect data on the number of people who have recovered. The survey is also not provided for by law. “However, at least in the cases in which most of the information was determined, which had no severe symptoms and which were not admitted to a hospital, it can be assumed that they will have recovered after 14 days at the latest,” says Berlin. The RKI estimates the number of those who have recovered.

The Ministry of Social Affairs publishes an overview of the corona development every day, broken down into districts and urban districts. It refers to figures from the RKI. Until a few days ago, it also took into account data from the Hessian state examination and investigation office in the health sector at the Gießen regional council, to which the health authorities must report the new cases. In order to create consistency, the ministry now only uses the RKI information.

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No corona transmission within the school communities

ÜThe Hessian health authorities reported three-digit new infections overnight. The consequences of the corona pandemic are also noticeable in daily school operations, but very differently from place to place. At the beginning of the week, two schools were closed, as a spokesman for the Ministry of Culture of the FAZ said. Since school began, only eleven of the almost 2000 schools have had to close due to Corona, mostly on a daily basis, as it continues to say. At 114 schools, there were restrictions on class attendance in such a way that students could not attend classes for a short time.

Thorsten Winter

Business editor and internet coordinator in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

According to the spokesman, the ministry is unable to say how many students and teachers have been infected with the Covid 19 virus. Only the respective health authorities had the relevant data. But it is clear: “The infections always come into the schools from outside. There is no transmission within the school community, ”the spokesman emphasized. This confirms the assessment made by experts before the start of the new school year, especially with regard to primary schools.

27,000 teachers tested – four positive

As the spokesman said, the country has now had 27,000 of the more than 60,000 teachers tested for the corona virus at its own expense. These included multiple tests. Only four examinations showed an infection. It is unclear how many teachers have had themselves tested privately and tested positive.

The online flat rate: F +


Since the pandemic swelled in March, there has never been so many recovered per corona victim in Hesse as there are currently. As you can read on the website of the Robert Koch Institute, the disease fighters are now assuming 15,200 people who have survived their Covid 19 infection. They face 540 deaths related to the pandemic. Mathematically, there are 28.1 people who have recovered to one death.

After only 69 confirmed new infections reported on Monday, the federal institute, known for short as the RKI, recorded 108 new cases overnight in Hesse, which has been confirmed by the series of three-digit new infections in recent weeks. That is 7.4 percent of the confirmed new infections in the federal government and thus less than the proportion of the population of Hesse would suggest. This state represents eight percent of the total population.

According to the Frankfurt virologist Sandra Ciesek, the stagnation in deaths is also and precisely due to the fact that it is currently mainly younger people who are infected. Younger people are usually more resilient than older people, which is why the course of the infection is less severe. Meanwhile, the WHO warns of a possible rise in the number of deaths in Europe in autumn.

According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Hessian clinics recently treated 29 infected people in intensive care; All in all, there are 251 Covid patients in local hospitals. In the University Hospital of Frankfurt, the number is “low”, as a spokesman for the FAZ said, according to reports in single digits. The same was true in the University Hospital Gießen and Marburg. “There are currently 717 free ventilation beds in Hessian hospitals,” the ministry said. A total of 6052 hospital beds are unoccupied, 325 fewer than a week ago.

In the case of the seven-day incidence, which is important for easing, that is the new cases registered within a week under 100,000 inhabitants, five federal states are now ahead of Hesse: Bavaria, Hamburg, Berlin, Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the Hessian incidence value is 10.8, Bavaria has the highest at 17.8. At the municipal level, the critical level is 50.

Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Marburg and Hamburg colleagues are still waiting for permission from the Paul Ehrlich Institute to test their corona vaccine candidate on people. This is what a spokeswoman for the University of Marburg told the FAZ

From a Frankfurt perspective, it is fundamentally important: The positive tests taken at the airport are not assigned to the city. Rather, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs, they are reflected in the statistics of the health department, which is responsible for the respective returnee. This can also be the Frankfurt office or another in Hesse, but also an authority in another federal state.

As the RKI further informed the FAZ, it does not officially collect data on the number of people recovered. The survey is also not provided for by law. “However, at least in the cases in which most of the information was determined, which had no severe symptoms and which were not admitted to a hospital, it can be assumed that they will have recovered after 14 days at the latest,” says Berlin. The RKI estimates the number of those who have recovered.

The Ministry of Social Affairs publishes an overview of the corona development every day, broken down into districts and urban districts. It refers to figures from the RKI. Until a few days ago, it also took into account data from the Hessian state examination and investigation office in the health system at the Gießen regional council, to which the health authorities have to report the new cases. In order to establish consistency, the ministry now only uses the RKI information.

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