How Would You Differentiate Between H1N1, FLU, And Covid-19

An article published in The India Express states that recently Joyeeta Basu, who happens to be a physician has Tweeted that in the last four weeks, she has not seen a Covid-19 patient from the Delhi-NCR region. After testing the patients for both RTPCR and RAT, the reports always showed either H1N1 or influenza A. But as per a bulletin published by the Health Department of Delhi, there were six fresh cases of Covid in Delhi on Wednesday. The positivity rate of Covid in Delhi is currently 0.13 percent. So, taking into consideration that there has been a rise in the number of Covid cases, how will you differentiate between Covid-19, H1N1, and flu?

About The Infections

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H1N1 is also swine flu. Dr. Ananta Padmanabha of Fortis Hospital says that is the flu from pigs. Other than this there are other common flue and cold which is very common to occur during seasonal changes. Most of these are due to rhinoviruses and influenza.

While Covid-19 is because by the CoV-2 virus and is very infectious. Some may experience a minor illness and experience respiratory issues too which will also get cured on their own without medication. In some, it may be severe and may require medical assistance. According to WHO older people suffering from various illnesses are more prone to the severity of Covid-19.

Symptoms And Causes

Dr. Manjeeta Das says that the patient must undergo medical treatment when he is experiencing symptoms instead of assuming. Having respiratory issues followed by flu is common while the symptoms of Covid-19 take longer to show and stay for a long time too. In fact, Covid-19 transmits much quicker than the flu and is more severe too. All these three viruses have similar symptoms such as a fever, runny nose, tiredness, headache, and even diarrhea too. According to Dr. Mishra, some of the symptoms of both flue and Covid-19 are:

  • Cough
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Fever
  • Blocked Or Runny Nose
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss Of Smell And Taste For Covid-19

For flu, the symptoms show between one to four days. For Covid-19, it takes two to five days for the symptom to show and then lasts up to fourteen days post-infection.


Dr. Padmanabha says that the common cold is not harmful so there is no diagnosis needed but if severe even after many days then a blood test, swab test, and x-ray are done to ensure the cause. In the case of both Covid-19 and flu nasal and throat swabs are collected for tests.


During the treatment proper rest and nutritious food are essential. Home-cooked simple food is a must and it must be fresh too. Lots of fluid intake is a must too for keeping the body hydrated.


Medical experts from WHO say that vaccination is a must along with following the norms to keep safe from Covid-19. Maintaining distance, wearing a mask, and keeping hands clean is also a must to do. Poorly ventilated rooms must also be avoided too.