Covid-19 patients are twice as likely to die as from influenza

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Covid-19 patients had a hospital death rate twice that of influenza patients, according to a US study published Friday.

This higher in-hospital mortality rate (40% for Covid-19 patients compared to 19% for those with influenza) was independent of age, sex, concomitant health problems, and severity of condition during hospital stay. intensive care unit, according to this research published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

This study is believed to be the first in the United States to directly compare clinical characteristics, laboratory data, and health outcomes between Covid-19 patients and those who have contracted the flu.

The study authors reviewed the medical records of 65 critically ill Covid-19 patients and another 74 with severe influenza A or B who were admitted to intensive care at two University of Washington hospitals between January 1, 2019 and April 15, 2020.

Important differences

Their work revealed that people positive for Covid-19 had a hospital death rate of 40%, compared to 19% for those affected by the flu. They also appeared to have to stay on mechanical ventilation longer, had poorer lung function, and were more likely to develop severe lung inflammation than those with the flu.

"The discovery that ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) may be more prevalent in critically ill Covid patients is important to understanding why there may be a difference in mortality between the two diseases," explains Natalie Cobb, M.D. pulmonary and lead author of the study. "We also found that patients with ARDS due to COVID-19 tended to have worse clinical outcomes than those with one after the flu."

At the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, many comparisons were made between Covid-19 and influenza infection, which is responsible for a significant number of hospitalizations and deaths each year. Although previous studies did not directly compare the two diseases, research had already shown that there are significant differences between them in terms of the proportion of people who are seriously ill and mortality.

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