Covid-19 vs H3N2 influenza vs Malaria: how to distinguish?

In the midst of the flu virus infection. It can be difficult to differentiate whether an individual’s fever and body aches are caused by COVID-19, H3N2 influenza, or mosquito-borne malaria. While it is expected that COVID-19 is about to turn into an endemic epidemic but recently This country has also seen a huge spike in COVID and H3N2 influenza cases as monsoon winds reach the ground. Malaria could spread and pose an increased risk in the future. With malaria accounting for about 88 percent of all malaria cases in Southeast Asia in 2019, according to the World Health Organization. This has worried health authorities in the country. However, the number of malaria cases has decreased in recent years. The same report said it provided incentives to curb the malaria threat.

despite the different modes of transmission But the initial symptoms of these illnesses are similar. It started with fever and body aches. of these diseases closely It will be helpful to differentiate between COVID-19, H3N2 influenza and malaria.

Covid-19 Vs Influenza H3N2 Vs Malaria

Here are the differences between three health issues:

1. Transmission mode

Malaria differs from COVID-19 and H3N2 in that it is not transmitted from person to person. This is because Plasmodium that causes malaria is spread through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. In contrast, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 is mainly transmitted via respiratory droplets. While the H3N2 influenza virus can be spread through respiratory droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces.

How is malaria transmitted? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Symptoms

In addition to some similar symptoms such as fever, headache and body aches. There are also many symptoms that differ greatly in the case of all three. with malaria Prominent symptoms include chills, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, etc. and if left untreated Symptoms can be severe and debilitating. This results in complications such as anemia, kidney failure and cerebral malaria. which could be life threatening In the case of COVID-19 And H3N2 influenza has fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat and runny nose as the main symptoms. However, COVID-19 also shows additional symptoms such as loss of taste or smell and shortness of breath.

3. Incubation period

The duration of the incubation period plays an important role in distinguishing between these illnesses. Symptoms of COVID-19 It usually shows up between 2 and 14 days after exposure. with an average incubation period of 5-6 days. The H3N2 influenza virus has an incubation period of 1-4 days, while the incubation period for malaria can extend from 7 days to several months.

4. Method of treatment

Treatment methods for COVID-19, malaria, and H3N2 influenza differ significantly due to the different causes of these diseases. Malaria is typically treated with antimalarial drugs, along with effective measures to stop the spread of mosquitoes. On the other hand, COVID-19 requires a multi-step approach. including drug use Palliative care H3N2 influenza, on the other hand, is managed using antiviral drugs along with symptomatic treatment to relieve fever, cough and sore throat.

How are COVID H3N2 and malaria treated? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Tests that Determine Infection

Detecting the type of infection causing similar symptoms from three different diseases has different diagnostic tests. The most common method for detecting malaria is the microscopic examination of blood smears. which relies on the detection of malaria in red blood cells another option Rapid diagnostic tests to detect malaria antigens in blood samples are widely used due to their ease of use and rapid response time. The diagnosis of H3N2 influenza is usually made using an antigen test that detects viral antigens in respiratory secretions. While PCR can provide more accurate results. on the contrary Diagnosis of COVID-19 It relies mainly on a PCR test, which detects viral RNA in respiratory secretions.

last word

Due to the continuous emergence of serious infections that affect many lives. Distinguishing between COVID-19, H3N2 influenza and malaria can be difficult due to overlapping symptoms. Clear symptoms, incubation periods, treatment methods, and diagnostic tests can help identify infection. Most importantly It is important to consult a doctor while these symptoms persist for some time.

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