Although the seasonal influenza virus is detected all-year along in the US, the activity of the seasonal flu increases to its peak during the fall and the winter, which means, the transmission is highest between the months of December to February.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 already at its peak and still continuing to spread, it is of utmost significance to know the similarities and differences between COVID-19 and the seasonal flu and brace for protection against both as required.
Seasonal Flu and COVID-19: How similar are they?
Firstly, both COVID-19 and seasonal flu affect the respiratory system, i.e., both can show symptoms resonating on levels of asymptomatic and mild, to severe disease and fatality. Secondly, both these viral infections are transmitted by personal contact, i.e., droplets, or saliva on garments and high-touch surfaces. This brings us to the conclusion that the same type of precautionary measures such as Mask etiquette, hand hygiene, and proper disposal of used tissues and masks can prevent the outspread of both seasonal flu and COVID-19.
Differences between COVID-19 and Seasonal Flu
- • Incubation & Interval Period: The viral incubation period, or the period between getting infected and displaying symptoms, is shorter for influenza flu. Again, the serial interval period, i.e., the period between two successive infections, is only 2-3 days, while for COVID-19 it is 5-6 days.
- • Peak Transmission Hours: Seasonal flu usually gets transmitted in the first 3-5 days with or without displaying symptoms. On the other hand, a person infected with COVID-19 can also shed the virus within 24-28 hours before the onset of symptoms.
- • Carriers of Infection: Data shows that children are the most probable carriers of the influenza flu, but for COVID-19, infection in the 0-19 age group is low.
- • The population at Most Risk: Children, pregnant women, the immunosuppressed, and the elderly are at most risk for influenza infection. On the contrary, for COVID-19, only that section of the population of older age and underlying chronic conditions are at high risk for severe infection.
- • Mortality Rate: The seasonal flu mortality rate is quite low as compared to COVID-19. Reports have shown that the mortality rate for COVID-19 is between 3-4%, while for seasonal flu it is below 0.1%.
Seasonal Influenza Flu vs COVID-19: Treatment Options
The seasonal flu has been around for long before COVID-19, and thus, both antivirals and vaccinations are available for it. Anti-virals have almost always been successful in reducing the symptoms within 2-3 days of intake, while one dose of vaccine annually is enough to keep the influenza virus at bay. Unfortunately, for the treatment and cure of COVID-19, there are currently no antiviral drugs approved, and vaccinations are still in the trial phases. But there are many ways to reduce the viral load and reduce complications for COVID-19. A regular check of vital signs, intake of Vitamins, practicing norms social distancing and Hygiene etiquettes, etc. are a few tricks to keeping yourself aware and healthy amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Nov 20, 2020
Raksha is a Sanskrit word that signifies,
“Protect against evil”.
Medorna has initiated #Raksha, a campaign to supply FREE Face Masks to Small Businesses in the Boston & North Shore area; striving to keep them safe and securely running until the pandemic is no more a threat.
The Current Scenario:
The harsh effects of the novel coronavirus on small businesses are now a bitter reality.
Teo Source, owner of the Le Petit Salon Curl Concept, a salon in Cambridge, says she had to endure daily cancellations of appointments and this went on throughout April.
Source says, “I don’t really know what’s going on right now, but it’s crazy. Because my clientele drop by at least over half, over 50 percent has been canceled, and it’s a big problem”.
Few of the clients, such as the college students, are leaving town. While few others, such as the locals and college professors, are just worried about the spread of the virus, without adequate means of protection. The business is growing tough as social distancing in salons is quite tough.
[Source: https://tinyurl.com/y5ysu96p ]
How is #Raksha helping?
Price gouging, hoarding supplies, increase in product prices have made it very difficult for small businesses to procure essential supplies.
Staying true to its meaning, #RAKSHA is making sure these businesses and their employees feel secure enough to keep working amidst the crisis, by sourcing out covid19 supplies such as quality face masks and other essential products vital for our local businesses.
Donate your bit at http://bit.ly/2ShCVel to save small businesses and lend a helping hand to keep them up and running safely!
- Oct 23, 2020
As the COVID-19 effects continue to spread worldwide, most of the cities and towns have been mandatorily shut down, and as a result, small businesses, suburban malls, and public spaces are emptied of any crowds, small or big.
Sometime in the near future, hopefully, our lives would go back to normal. Schools would re-open, restaurants and grocery stores would be filled with groups of all ages, and theatres would start entertaining us with the same spirit.
Without a vaccine yet, the chances of businesses reopening soon are low, although certain industries may decide to do so to prevent their business from dying out, or face excessive losses. But every individual, including CEOs of various companies, business owners, and storekeepers must be aware that the threat of COVID-19 may re-appear, besides the ever-looming possibilities of similar biohazard diseases.
“Being one point ahead at the end, That’s all that matters.” --Erinn Smart
Thus, every small business must brace itself with a few strategies to navigate and plan for, before re-opening their field of work to the common public.
1. Reduce Conferences, Meetings, and Travel
For a brief period of time, ensure that any sort of team meetings or travels is held off, to minimize the scope of exposure to the virus. Group Conferences should also be avoided to prevent your employees from falling sick, which would infer another few days of sick leaves and loss of business hours.
2. Providing Work Flexibility to Employees
Even though employees would be continuing to work on office premises, their work hours should be kept flexible. Which means, split shifts, remote working on a couple of days per week, and early off from work. This prevents the employees from feeling suddenly over-burdened and thus the business has little to no possibility of being short-staffed.
3. Provision of Individual Spaces
Most companies have the facility of shared office space and office equipment, such as computers, printers, work stations, etc. which is a good harbor to share germs. Hence, further on, individual workspaces must be allocated, to reduce the chances of too many employees being in close quarters.
4. Clean Environment and Personal Hygiene
Most importantly, companies/businesses would need to acquire strict cleaning procedures for employees as well as customers.
1. The number of people allowed into the office space must be kept limited.
2. Every person entering the building must be wearing face masks and should be properly sanitized while entering and leaving the premises. This implies to all in general, business owners, employees, and visitors.
3. Every corner of exposed surfaces including railings, desks, tabletops, etc. must be sanitized thoroughly before opening and closing of the official space.
Face Masks: An Armor to Continue Working Safely Post-COVID-19
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends even entirely healthy and fit individuals to leave their homes wearing a face mask, especially when venturing out to public places, where social distancing is near to impossible. Experts suggest that masks might also aid people affected with COVID-19 from passing along the virus.
Before procuring a face mask for oneself or your closed ones, one must know the differences in various types of masks, because all masks are not made equal.
a. N-95 Mask: This mask is highly recommended for preventing viral spread. When properly fitted, this mask has a filter performance of 95% and more, i.e., it filters out 95% of the aerosol particles of 0.3 microns or larger. But due to the widespread effects of COVID, these masks are already in shortage, even for medical professionals, and hence CDC doesn’t recommend it for general public use. The N95 mask provides the strongest level of protection required for healthcare providers.
b. KN95 Mask: This mask, too, provides a filter performance of 95%, although it has a total inward leak capacity of less than 8%. They are recommended for use after multiple testings.
c. 3 Ply Mask: The design of the mask is in three layers, a Melt-blown middle layer made of polypropylene that is moisture resistant, an inner soft absorbent non-woven layer, and an outer hydrophobic non-woven layer. Although they are not as strong as the N95s, the 3 Ply mask is quite comfortable and breathable, and has elastic earloops and malleable Nose-Clip, therefore user-friendly and can be used by the general public.
d. CSM95 Mask: This is a 4-ply Mask with Non-woven Fabric and Active Carbon Filter Fabric. The middle layer is melt-blown, along with a polypropylene spun-bond inner layer. For adults, the sizes come of 17.5×9.5cm. These masks give adequate protection and comfort to the user.
The efficacy of various coronavirus supplies, especially Face Masks, cannot be guaranteed as of present, but studies have shown that surgical masks such as 3 Ply masks have reduced the spilling of aerosols and droplets from a COVID-19 affected to a minimum.
Medorna is an online Consumer Goods, Home Healthcare Devices, Disposables, and COVID-19 Supply Store that is currently devoted to save small businesses in the Boston and North Shore Area to keep them operating safely during COVID-19 pandemic.
- Oct 21, 2020