The risk of dying from the coronavirus is five times higher than that from a seasonal flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said in a new report, based on the records of some 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 some 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.
The CDC said that in addition to being far more deadly than a common flu, the coronavirus leads to a plethora 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 the coronavirus-related side-effects, with the CDC saying that Covid-19 patients were less prone to develop “exacerbations of asthma” and “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease” than those with 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 the 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 the Covid-19 and 5,453 patients hospitalized with a common flu in the Veterans Health Administration.