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COVID-19 Vs. The Flu

The virus' similarities have caused some to underestimate the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. A Texas A&M clinical assistant professor explains how COVID-19 differs from the flu.
By Sam Craft, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications April 21, 2020

Dr. Jason McKnight is a board-certified family medicine physician and assistant clinical professor of primary care medicine at the Texas A&M University College of Medicine. He’s seen first-hand the effects of COVID-19 on patients.

He said while COVID-19 may share some symptoms with the seasonal flu, the two are very different in critical ways.

Some of the similarities include fever and body aches, he said. But flu focuses on the upper respiratory system, causing symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, postnasal drip and sore throat.

On the other hand, McKnight said, the majority of COVID-19 patients are having lower respiratory tract symptoms. These symptoms include coughing, tight airways and trouble breathing.

Media contact: Lesley Henton,


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