Both the coronavirus and the flu are spreading in Switzerland. Both pathogens are now roughly equally frequent—and cause similar symptoms.
The essentials in a nutshell
- Based on the high number of cases in Switzerland, the flu has been linked to the corona virus.
- BAG and various hospitals are monitoring this development.
- Meanwhile, it is difficult to differentiate the two pathogens based on their symptoms.
According to the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG), the influenza virus has replaced the coronavirus in Switzerland: it is currently the most strongly circulating flu in this country.
The flu epidemic is steady around the holidays and is still picking up a bit. BAG reports relative viral load as “high” to “very high”.
The situation is different with the coronavirus: here, the BAG reports the viral load as “low” to “medium” – the detection rate, in turn, decreases.
University hospitals in Bern and Basel confirm this trend
Within BAG's measurement system, flu and corona diagnoses are currently at the same range. When asked by Nau.ch, the Inselspital in Bern confirmed this trend: “Both types of evidence are currently the same.”
In addition, there are – to a lesser extent – infections with the RS virus, which mostly affects children. Finally, the island group also records cold viruses such as rhinoviruses, adenoviruses and confederations, which are already very common in cold seasons.
Basel University Hospital is also currently seeing “increasing hospitalizations due to flu and fewer hospitalizations due to corona.” The trend can be seen very clearly – but overall hospitals are still within a manageable range.
Distinguishing the difference between flu and corona is rarely possible for sufferers
And how to differentiate flu from corona? Differentiation is usually not possible in the affected person. According to experts at Inselhospital, both viruses can trigger a wide range of symptoms.
Are you sick this winter?
However, at the molecular level, the two types of virus are very different: “Overall, SARS-CoV-2 is highly infectious. Diseases caused by viruses are also different, but there is overlap.
Currently circulating types of covid cause symptoms known from previous virus types: headache, muscle pain, fatigue, cough, fever or sore throat.
Sudden loss of sense of smell or taste, which was previously often observed, is less common.
The risk of complications from both pathogens is similar
Infections caused by the influenza virus often lead to bacterial pneumonia. Other complications with SARS-CoV-2 – such as immunological events – are more widespread.
As Incelhospital experts further explain, the dangers of the two viruses cannot be easily compared to each other. However, from studies on switching to the Omicron variant, the risk of complications from the two pathogens is now known to be “about the same”.