COVID-19 is repeatedly compared with influenza, but until now there have been no reliable figures to enable a scientific comparison. In the current study the data of stationary treatments of 3,948 COVID-19 cases and 5,453 flu cases were evaluated now. All infections were confirmed in the laboratory.
With COVID-19, patients develop many more and more serious complications than with influenza, reports the “British Medical Journal” (BMJ) of the results of a current study of the US Veterans Health Administration. In addition, COVID-19 patients who were admitted to hospital were more likely to require intensive care, longer hospital stays and were more likely to die from the consequences of the infection.
COVID-19 is often compared to influenza and the severity of the disease is relativized. However, the possible consequences of influenza should not be underestimated and a recent study shows that COVID-19 has many more complications than influenza.
Risk for lung failure drastically increased
The evaluation showed that COVID-19 patients and flu patients were predominantly of a similar age (mean 70 versus 69 years) and had almost all underlying illnesses (93.6 percent for COVID-19 and 95.1 percent for flu). However, the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was almost 19 times higher for COVID-19 than for influenza.
Overall, the researchers reported that COVID-19 was associated with a higher risk of respiratory complications, with twice the risk of pneumonia, 1.7 times the risk of respiratory failure, 19 times the risk of ARDS and 3.5 times the risk of pneumothorax, all compared to influenza.
In addition, the risk of myocarditis, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, intracranial bleeding, acute hepatitis/liver failure, bacteremia and pressure ulcers was more than twice as high for COVID-19 as for influenza, the BMJ reports. Last but not least, COVID-19 patients spent almost three times as long in hospital as flu patients and were twice as likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit. Moreover, COVID-19 patients are five times more likely to die from the disease than from influenza (21 percent deaths versus 3.8 percent).
Overall, complications associated with COVID-19 are much more serious and more frequent than those associated with influenza. A trivialization of the disease is therefore in no way appropriate. (fp)
COVID-19 has far more serious consequences than influenza
WashingtonNewsday Health and Wellness.