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Texas flu numbers near historic lows

The Lone Star State has seen near historic record-lows regarding flu cases for the 2020-21 flu season.

TYLER, Texas — The Lone Star State has seen near historic record-lows in regards to flu cases for the 2020-21 flu season.

According to the latest numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the state has recorded 834 positive flu cases. Of those cases, 192 (23.02%) were confirmed Influenza A and 642 (76.98%) were confirmed Influenza B.

For the 2019-2020 flu season, there were more than 27,000 positive cases.

The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2), and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.

COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer. More information about differences between flu and COVID-19 is available in the different sections below.

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

While more is learned every day about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it, there is still a lot that is unknown.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. 

Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms listed above. COVID-19 seems to cause more serious illnesses in some people. Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell. 

WHEN DO SYMPTOMS APPEAR

For both COVID-19 and flu, one or more days can pass between a person becoming infected and when he or she starts to experience illness symptoms.

If a person has COVID-19, it could take them longer to develop symptoms than if they had flu. 

With the flu, typically, a person develops symptoms anywhere from one to four days after infection.

Regarding COVID-19, usually, a person develops symptoms five days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as two days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary.