Despite the fact that COVID-19 and influenza are two completely different viruses, since the start of the pandemic they have been frequently compared to one another in terms of severity, risk of hospitalization, and even death. Now, a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention answers the burning question: Are you more likely to die of the flu or COVID-19 in the hospital? Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Which is More Deadly? The Flu or COVID-19?
According to the CDC report released on Tuesday utilizing data from the National Veterans Health Administration, coronavirus patients are more likely to suffer serious complications and lose their lives while hospitalized with the illness.
"Compared with influenza, COVID-19 is associated with increased risk for most respiratory and nonrespiratory complications," reads the report. "Certain racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19."
The data, compiled from over 9,000 patients hospitalized with either COVID or influenza, found that those with coronavirus were five times more likely to die than flu patients. Additionally they were 19 times more likely to experience acute respiratory distress syndrome and twice as likely to need intensive care. They also spent much more time in the hospital — three times as long as those hospitalized with the flu. A few more disturbing findings: one-quarter of COVID patients hospitalized suffered complications involving three or more organ systems and they were also at an increased risk for 17 health complications, including pneumonia, myocarditis (heart inflammation), deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, brain hemorrhage, and liver failure.
On the other hand, those battling the flu were more likely to experience chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and worsened asthma.
Racial Disparity Matters
They also found racial disparity amongst their population: 48% of coronavirus patients and 25% of flu patients were Black, with non-white patients at a much greater risk for complications, including respiratory, neurologic, and kidney complications and sepsis.
The bottom line: COVID-19 is not "just like the flu." So get your flu shot, practice the COVID-19 fundamentals (wear your face mask, practice social distancing, avoid crowds, wash your hands), And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.