Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 12, 2022, 6:43

The 1918 Spanish Flu, like Coronavirus, was 'novel'. It was a completely new virus that the world had never seen before. Nobody was immune, and it was exceedingly contagious, spreading through respiratory droplets.

The Main Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu is that the former was more dangerous than Coronavirus, striking healthy young individuals and spreading in waves. It began in 1918, at the close of Globe War I, in a world riddled with rebellion and colonial rule.

On the other hand, despite its reduced overall death rate, Coronavirus is exceedingly harmful to the elderly and persons with pre-existing medical complications. It arrives in waves that might continue.

Coronavirus emerged in late 2019 on a relatively peaceful planet with thriving trade and tourism that allowed it to transmit rapidly. The complex interdependence of Keohane and Nye exacerbated the spread.

Nevertheless, the Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu is that, unlike how it was in 1918, scientific and medical developments have enabled society to function even under lockdown and researchers have developed vaccines for the former.

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Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu

Here are some major Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu:

 

Coronavirus

Spanish Flu

Incubation period

Coronavirus has a longer incubation period (2-14 days) than the Spanish Flu. The “incubation period” is the time taken for an infected person to develop symptoms.

Spanish Flu has a shorter incubation period (1-4 days) than the Coronavirus.

Serial interval

Coronavirus has a longer serial interval (5-6 days) than the Spanish Flu. The “serial interval” is the “time between successive cases in a transmission chain.”

Coronavirus has a shorter serial interval (3 days) than the Spanish Flu.

Shedding time

“Viral shedding” occurs when a virus infects a host, reproduces, and releases itself into the environment. Since they have a longer shedding time of 3 months, coronavirus patients are more contagious than Spanish Flu patients.

Spanish Flu has a shorter shedding time (2-7 days).

Secondary infections

A fully recovered person might suffer from an average of two secondary infections.

In the case of Spanish Flu, recovery pneumonia follows the recovery in rare cases.

Target demographics

Coronavirus targets adults and ages with medical complications. Surprisingly, Coronavirus affects very few children. Even if they fall sick, they show mild symptoms.

Spanish Flu affects children and healthy young adults.

Name

Coronavirus is not linked to a geographic location- we do not call it the Wuhan virus.

It is linked to a geographic location- Spain. Nevertheless, the Spanish Flu did not originate in Spain. We link it with Spain as it was the first country to officially announce the presence of the virus.

Symptoms

Loss of smell and taste, respiratory problems, muscle pain, body ache and headache are the symptoms of Coronavirus.

Respiratory symptoms, muscle ache, body pain and headache are the symptoms of Spanish Flu. But Spanish Flu affected people will not face loss of smell/ taste.

Spanish Flu, like Coronavirus, showed little concern for hierarchy. The 1918 flu did not even spare King Alfonso XIII. Though both viruses have similar symptoms and modes of transmission, there is a significant Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu. COVID-19, unlike the Spanish Flu, has the potential to cause more severe sickness in some persons and symptoms may take a long time to appear. Also, the backdrop was much different a century ago - wars, colonialism, and a lack of advancement in medical sciences.

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FAQs on the Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu

Q.1. What is the Main Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu?

The Main Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu is that though both have similar symptoms, genetic make-up, and modes of transmission, Spanish Flu, or the Influenza A Subtype H1N1 and the Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 are from different viral families.

Q.2. What is the Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu regarding human-to-human transmission?

The Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu regarding human-to-human transmission is that with the Spanish Flu, two infected people could infect four others. On the other hand, two Coronavirus-infected people can infect around five to nine people.

Q.3. What is the Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu concerning mortality?

The Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu concerning mortality is that mortality is higher among Coronavirus-inflected people (3-5%) than those infected by Spanish Flu (0.5-1%).

Q.4. What is the Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu regarding target demographics?

The Difference Between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu regarding target demographics is that the majority of those who died during the 1918 pandemic were young adults, with older people dying at a lower rate. COVID-19, on the other hand, primarily affects the elderly, with mortality rates nearing 20% in people over the age of 80.