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Dr Chris Smith shares worrying warning about new Covid stats
Dr Chris spoke about the claim that Covid-19 may be less of a threat than flu. It has been suggested that a combination of high levels of immunity and the reduced severity of the Omicron variant has made Covid-19 less of a threat.
Dr Chris said: “The numbers that have been computed look at what is called the infection fatality ratio.”
He added: “This means you look at a person who catches the flu and you ask how likely a person of that age is to die of the flu, and you can then make comparisons.”
The virologist explained: “When the pandemic with coronavirus first started we were seeing mortality rates of between one and ten percent, depending upon age.”
He said that now when we do those same calculations we see that compared with the average flu we have got a lower mortality rate for all ages than they would be for the average flu.
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Dr Chris said: “What that tells us is that we have downshifted the threat posed by Covid very significantly.”
Dr Chris suggested this was partially because of the level of immunity in the population, as people who have caught Covid are now for the most part vaccinated.
Therefore, this is the reason behind the claim that people are now at lower risk if they catch Covid, than if they catch the flu.
He also said: “Unfortunately, there will have been some people who were more vulnerable in society who did succumb the first time round, so that leaves a fitter population.”
He warned: “We must not be totally subverted by these figures”.
This is because although the risk individually if you catch the infection is lower than it would be if for the flu, there are still a plethora of Covid-19 cases.
Dr Chris said: “We are seeing many hundreds, or thousands, of cases of coronavirus, so therefore in numbers terms we are still seeing a significant impact of coronavirus, albeit at much lower risk.”
He said this was thanks to vaccine induced immunity.
The Mayo Clinic explains: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have heard that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is similar to the flu (influenza).
“COVID-19 and the flu are both contagious respiratory diseases caused by viruses.
“They have some common symptoms. But through closer comparison, they can affect people differently.”
Moreover, the signs and symptoms of both diseases can range from no symptoms to mild or severe symptoms.
The organisation says: “COVID-19 appears to be more contagious and to spread more quickly than the flu.
“With COVID-19, you may experience loss of taste or smell. Severe illness such as lung injury is more frequent with COVID-19 than with influenza.”
Some people can get an annual flu vaccine to help reduce your risk of the flu.
Booster COVID vaccinations are also available in the UK, and help reduce the risk of coronavirus.
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