Difference Between Coronavirus and Influenza virus

Coronaviruses and influenza viruses are both capable of causing respiratory disease in humans. However, there are significant distinctions between the two:

Coronavirus Vs Influenza virus

  1. Structure: Coronaviruses have a crown-like appearance when viewed under a microscope, while influenza viruses have a more spherical shape.
  2. Transmission: Both coronaviruses and influenza viruses can be transmitted through respiratory secretions, such as saliva, mucus, and respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. However, influenza viruses can also be transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces and objects, while this is less common for coronaviruses.
  3. Symptoms: Both coronaviruses and influenza can cause similar symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. However, influenza can also cause vomiting and diarrhoea, which are not common symptoms of coronavirus infection.
  4. Duration of illness: The duration of illness for both viruses can vary, but influenza tends to be more severe and shorter in duration than coronavirus infection.
  5. Treatment: There are antiviral medications that can be used to treat influenza, but there are currently no specific treatments for coronavirus infection. Most people with coronavirus infection will recover on their own with supportive care, such as getting plenty of rest and fluids.
  6. Vaccines: There are vaccines available to help prevent influenza, but there is currently no vaccine for coronavirus. Scientists are working on developing a vaccine for coronavirus, but it will likely take some time before one is available.

Summary – Coronavirus vs Influenza

Coronavirus is a vast family of viruses that causes a wide range of diseases, including the common cold, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The influenza virus, on the other hand, is another kind of virus that annually produces seasonal flu epidemics.

Both viruses are enveloped ssRNA viruses. Both organisms may infect the respiratory system of humans. While influenza infections spread swiftly, coronavirus infections spread more slowly. However, infections with coronavirus have a greater fatality risk than infections with the influenza virus. This sums up the distinction between coronavirus and influenza.


  1.  Denison, Mark R, et al. “Coronaviruses: an RNA Proofreading Machine Regulates Replication Fidelity and Diversity.” RNA Biology, Landes Bioscience, 2011, Available here.
  2. “Influenza (Seasonal).” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, Available here.
  3. “Types of Influenza Viruses.” Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 Nov. 2019, Available here.
  4. How are COVID-19 and influenza viruses different?  Available here.

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