COVID Far More Lethal Than Flu, Data Shows
By Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 is much extra dangerous and lethal than the seasonal flu, new research verify.
Researchers analyzed U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs knowledge on greater than 3,600 sufferers hospitalized with COVID-19 between Feb. 1 and June 17 of this yr, and greater than 12,600 hospitalized with the flu between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2019. The common age of sufferers in each teams was 69.
The dying price amongst COVID-19 sufferers was 18.5%, whereas it was 5.3% for these with the flu. Those with COVID have been almost 5 occasions extra prone to die than flu sufferers, in response to the examine printed on-line Dec. 15 within the BMJ.
COVID-19 sufferers with the best danger of dying included these aged 75 and older who additionally had persistent kidney illness or dementia, and Blacks who have been overweight, or who had diabetes or kidney illness.
The examine additionally discovered that COVID-19 sufferers have been 4 occasions extra prone to require respiration machines, almost 2.5 occasions extra prone to be admitted to intensive care, and stayed within the hospital a median of three days longer than flu sufferers.
A separate examine from France, printed on-line Dec. 17 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal, arrived at comparable conclusions: Nearly twice as many individuals have been admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 on the peak of the pandemic than have been for influenza on the peak of the 2018/2019 flu season. And the dying price was virtually thrice increased.
The French staff, led by Dr. Pascale Tubert-Bitter, analysis director at L’Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm), and Catherine Quantin, from the University Hospital of Dijon and Inserm, in contrast knowledge from COVID-19 sufferers admitted to the hospital over a two-month interval in spring 2020 with influenza sufferers admitted over a three-month interval in the course of the seasonal flu outbreak of 2018/2019.
“The finding that the COVID-19 death rate was three times higher than for seasonal influenza is particularly striking when reminded that the 2018/2019 flu season had been the worst in the past five years in France in terms of number of deaths,” Quantin famous in a Lancet information launch.
Tubert-Bitter added, “Taken together, our findings clearly indicate that COVID-19 is much more serious than seasonal influenza. At a time when no treatment has been shown to be effective at preventing severe disease in COVID-19 patients, this study highlights the importance of all measures of physical prevention and underlines the importance of effective vaccines.”
U.S. researchers mentioned an enormous shock of their examine was that COVID-19 sufferers had a better danger of growing diabetes, with 9 extra instances per 100 than flu sufferers.
“These patients didn’t have diabetes until they got COVID-19,” mentioned examine senior writer Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, an assistant professor of drugs at Washington University in St. Louis. “Then their blood sugar spiked, and they needed huge doses of insulin. Is the diabetes reversible, or will it require long-term management? Will it be type 1 or type 2 diabetes? We just don’t know because COVID-19 barely existed a year ago.”
Another discovering was that COVID-19 sufferers had a better danger of acute kidney harm and extreme sepsis shock. For each problems, there have been a median of 6extra instances per 100 COVID-19 sufferers than amongst flu sufferers.
Also, COVID-19 sufferers have been extra prone to want medicines to deal with severely low blood stress, a situation that may result in organ harm and dying. The price was 11.5 extra instances per 100 sufferers than amongst flu sufferers.
“Many high-profile, public comparisons between COVID-19 and the flu have been made; however, those comparisons mostly were drawn using disparate data and statistical methods that have resulted in a lot of conjecture. Our research represents an apples-to-apples comparison between the two diseases,” Al-Aly mentioned in a college information launch.
“A deeper understanding of the health risks of COVID-19 helps to anticipate demand for health care services and to project mortality with greater accuracy,” he added.
“We know so little about COVID-19 because of its newness,” Al-Aly famous. “I’m not sure why Black patients suffer and die more. My hunch is that the cause relates to racial disparities in health care, but there could be other factors that we don’t yet know.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extra on COVID-19.
SOURCES: Washington University in St. Louis, information launch, Dec. 15, 2020; The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, information launch, Dec. 17, 2020