What Covid taught us about flu, symptoms and how the virus spreads

Covid has changed how we think about flu. Here's what experts have learned about influenza from the Covid pandemic.

On March 3, 2020, the head of the World Health Organization began a daily press briefing exhorting countries around the world to do more to stop the spread of Covid.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ plea had become a common refrain in the preceding weeks: If aggressive measures were taken, the virus could be contained.

That possibility, he said, was one of the key differences between Covid and the flu. “We don’t even talk about containment for seasonal flu. It’s just not possible,” he said. 

Full coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic

Just over a week later, the United Nations health agency declared Covid a pandemic. The novel coronavirus would go on to spread to virtually every country on Earth. 


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