May 30, 2024

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Is it H3N2 flu or COVID-19?  See the similarities and differences between the symptoms

Is it H3N2 flu or COVID-19? See the similarities and differences between the symptoms

with community circulation (the type of transmission in which it is no longer possible to trace the patient who caused chains of infection), in Pernambuco, Influenza A H3N2which has already caused the first death of the year in the state, measures to protect against and control respiratory diseases, increasingly, need to be reinforced by the population.

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“We have to realize that we are facing another respiratory virus, flu symptoms H3N2 and yes COVID-19 Very similar, especially the omicron variant. We need to be aware of the diagnostic confusion, and therefore, we need to be aware of the importance of laboratory testing, especially the rapid antigen test for covid-19,” explains Dr. Demetrius Montenegro, Head of Infectious Diseases Sector at Oswaldo Cruz University Hospital (Hook).

Flu and COVID-19: Check for Symptoms

Common symptoms of both diseases

  • nasal congestion
  • body aches
  • sore throat
  • Fever


  • More severe symptoms appear at the beginning of the picture
  • Improvement after the fifth day of illness


  • Symptoms intensify between the fifth and seventh day
  • Loss of smell and taste (in oomicron infection, however, these signs are no longer observed)
  • Symptoms may worsen from the seventh day of illness

Cases in Pernambuco of H3N2

The high incidence of influenza links the red alert to the transmission of the virus in the respiratory system. Pernambuco has so far confirmed 43 cases of H3N2. Among them, nine patients are in critical condition: six were hospitalized, two are in the intensive care unit, and one died. The death was a 46-year-old man who lived in the city of Recife. He developed shortness of breath on December 9 and was treated at UPA the next day, when he needed to be intubated and transferred to the intensive care unit of Agamenon Magalhaes Hospital (HAM). He passed away last Sunday (19). The man had chronic kidney disease, tested negative for COVID-19, and then took a test for influenza.

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