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21 Oct, 2020 01:41

Covid-19 patients FIVE TIMES more likely to die in hospital than those with flu, are at higher risk for 17 complications – CDC

Covid-19 patients FIVE TIMES more likely to die in hospital than those with flu, are at higher risk for 17 complications – CDC

The risk of dying from the coronavirus is five times higher than that of seasonal flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report, based on the records of 9,000 hospital patients.

“Compared with patients with influenza, those with COVID-19 had a more than five times higher risk for in-hospital death and approximately double the ICU admission risk and hospital length of stay, and were at higher risk for 17 acute respiratory, cardiovascular, hematologic, neurologic, renal and other complications,” the CDC said in a new report released on Tuesday.

The study found that while 21 percent of the Covid-19 patients whose records were studied died, the share of influenza patients with lethal outcomes was about 3.8 percent – or more than five times fewer.

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The CDC said that in addition to being far more deadly than seasonal flu, the coronavirus leads to a number of complications that are less likely in patients hospitalized with influenza.

As far as “acute respiratory distress syndrome,” or ARDS, is concerned, coronavirus patients are almost 19 times more likely to suffer from the condition compared to those being treated for flu, according to the CDC.

There is a silver lining in the grim picture of coronavirus-related side-effects, with the CDC saying that Covid-19 patients are less likely to develop “exacerbations of asthma” and “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease” than those with the flu.

The agency also noted that racial minorities appear to be more vulnerable to Covid-19, being generally at “higher risk'' for respiratory, neurologic and renal complications, as well as sepsis, than white Americans. The researchers argue that the disparity cannot be “solely” explained by age or underlying medical conditions.


Between the two groups of patients, those infected with Covid-19 and those with influenza, the first group was “slightly older,” 70 years on overage against 69. Flu patients had more underlying medical conditions, however. 

Almost half of the Covid-19 patients (48.3 percent) were black, while they made up only a quarter of flu patients (24.7 percent). The share of Hispanics in both groups was about the same.

The study drew on the hospital records of 3,948 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 and 5,453 patients hospitalized with the flu in the Veterans Health Administration.

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