Covid deadlier than flu? This is what the INSERM – French National Institute for Health and Medical Research – and Dijon University Hospital have found after releasing this Friday December 18 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine a study conducted in about 130,000 patients hospitalized in France, comparing data with spring 2020 for coronavirus and those of the 2018/2019 flu season, “the worst for the past five years in France in terms of death toll” the Institute says.
It specifically compares hospital admissions in the spring 2020 with those from December 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019, noticing that “in-hospital mortality was higher in patients with COVID-19 than in patients with influenza (15 104 [16.9%] of 89 530 vs 2640 [5.8%] of 45 819)”.
Still according to this study, the hospitalization ration is higher in people infected with Covid, with a twice as long stay than flu-caused hospitalization (2 weeks instead of 1). Please also note that there have been as many children under 5 hospitalized for Covid as for flu, unlike children under 18, more likely to be hospitalized for flu than for coronavirus.
According to scientists, this study “has several limitations”, namely “testing practices for influenza are likely to be highly variable across hospitals, whereas practices for COVID-19 may be more standardized” which could explain the higher number of in-hospitals because of Covid. Another limit: “the difference in numbers of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza cases could be higher in other settings or periods, or if the residual population immunity acquired from previous seasonal influenzas (which cannot be assessed) is lower than usual”.
For the record, so far, as the INSERM says, “no treatment has been shown to be effective for the COVID-19 clinical course”. Anyway, this study highlights “the importance of all measures of physical prevention and the need for a specific vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 and treatment for COVID-19.”