COVID-19

Flu and COVID-19 do not belong to the same virus family

Rappler.com
Flu and COVID-19 do not belong to the same virus family
Influenza is caused by influenza viruses that belong to the Orthomyxoviridae virus family, while COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus that belongs to the Coronaviridae virus family

Claim: The virus that causes influenza (flu) and the virus that causes COVID-19 belong to the same virus family.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The post containing the claim has over 4,629 views on YouTube, as of writing.

Different families: According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), flu and COVID-19 are caused by viruses from different virus families. Studies published by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) said that flu is caused by an influenza virus under the virus family of Orthomyxoviridae, while COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus from the virus family of Coronaviridae.

What this means: The difference in where flu and COVID-19 originate means:

  • It is possible to have both diseases at the same time, according to the US CDC. The agency said that this phenomenon is called a “coinfection.”
  • Flu and COVID-19 have different vaccines. According to the US CDC, seasonal flu vaccines protect against the four most common influenza viruses during the upcoming season. The US CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) said that COVID-19 vaccines protect the body from the virus and its variants that cause COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccine won’t protect against flu, according to the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

Vaccine schedule: According to the US CDC, flu and COVID-19 vaccines could be given at the same time, and possible side effects are generally similar “whether vaccines are given alone or with other vaccines.”

However, the US CDC says that, although there is no harm in taking both flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time, the public should follow the recommended schedule for either vaccine. The US CDC also recommends the public to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and get the flu vaccine during the flu season.

According to the Philippine Department of Health, it is preferable to give flu vaccinations to Filipinos from February to June. – Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com

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