ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The focus of COVID-19 is moving more towards long-term management which means putting more emphasis on the number of hospitalizations and deaths, as opposed to the number of cases.

Regardless, the number of flu cases in New York hasn’t come anywhere close to the number of COVID cases.

WTEN looked at the number of flu and COVID cases reported weekly by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) from the week ending Nov. 6 to the week ending Jan. 15.

A total of 1,970,199 cases of COVID were reported to the DOH compared to 37,700 cases of flu. Taking into consideration the availability of home tests, the actual number of COVID cases could have been higher.

The graph below shows the number of cases reported at week’s end. Interestingly the number of flu cases reached its highest point the week ending Dec. 18 with 9, 026 cases, and the number of COVID cases reached its zenith the week ending Jan. 8. with 519,038.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a simple explanation. They said from what they’ve seen so far, COVID is more contagious than the flu. Both viruses cause upper respiratory illness, but people get sicker, stay contagious longer, and show symptoms later after being infected with COVID.

You cannot tell the difference between flu and COVID-19 just by looking at the symptoms alone because they have some of the same symptoms. That’s why testing is needed to tell what the illness is and to confirm a diagnosis. Testing is also important because it can reveal if someone has both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.

CDC

What about flurona?

Flurona, is definitely not a new COVID variant, said Director of Hospital Epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Jonathan Grein. The term was coined for someone who by unlucky chance gets infected with both COVID and the flu.

But flurona isn’t a big concern, Grein said because there have been low levels of the flu virus in circulation.