COVID-19 is just three times deadlier than seasonal flu, a new study has shown.
The analysis performed by the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the University of Dijon, compared statistics from over 89,500 COVID-19 patients hospitalized between March and April and over 45,800 patients hospitalized for seasonal flu between December 2018 and February 28, 2019.
The outcomes of the research were published on Friday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.
It revealed the mortality rate is three times greater for COVID-19 than it’s for seasonal flu, respectively 16.9 percent and 5.8 percent.
Hospitalizations were found to be twice as frequent for COVID-19 compared to seasonal flu with a larger quantity of COVID-19 patients admitted into intensive care — 16.8 percent versus 10.8 percent. Stays in ICU were also longer with COVID-19 patients having a mean of 15 days in contrast to 8 weeks for seasonal flu.
Researchers flagged a few constraints, however. They noted for example that although studying for COVID-19 was national, flu screening practices could have varied from hospital to hospital, which might explain, in part, the large number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19.
Furthermore, they noted that the gap in hospitalization rates could be partly because of the current resistance to flu, possibly due to an earlier infection or due to vaccination.
Catherine Quantin, a professor at the University of Dijon and researcher for INSERM, worried that”this research is the biggest to date comparing the 2 ailments and affirms that COVID-19 is a lot more severe than flu.”
“The finding that the departure rate from COVID-19 was three times greater than for seasonal flu is very striking when one remembers the 2018/2019 flu season was the worst in France about deaths in the previous five decades,” she added.
France is among the planet’s most affected countries with over 59,600 deaths and more than 2.4 million supported diseases of COVID-19 because of the start of the pandemic.