Comparing Covid-19 To Influenza

As we enter April the common refrain heard from some officials and others who sought to downplay the severity of coronavirus in February and early March - that it wasn't worth worrying about, because more people were likely to get sick or die from the flu than COVID-19 - may not stand up any longer. Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins, explains how the flu and COVID-19 are similar and how they are different. While both the flu and COVID-19 may be transmitted in similar ways, there is also a possible difference, COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route, meaning that tiny droplets remaining in the air could cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer near. The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. Since this disease is caused by a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu.


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