Warning: The risk of death from COVID-19 was 3.5 times higher than from influenza
A study published Wednesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found the risk of death from COVID-19 was 3.5 times higher than from influenza.
The numbers put a figure on the severity of the novel coronavirus , which experts have been speaking to since the pandemic began.
The study analyzed hospitalized cases of COVID and influenza between November 2019 and June 2020 in seven Toronto-area hospitals, finding that people admitted with COVID-19 were 1.5 times more likely to need intensive care, and stayed in hospitals 1.5 times longer than patients admitted with influenza.
The study used data extracted from hospital computer systems to describe details of patients’ hospitalizations, says Dr. Amol Verma of St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto.
Verma says the flu hospitalizations included in the report occurred mostly from November 2019 to February 2020. Though COVID hospitalizations from the study occurred mostly between March and June, Verma adds that some earlier cases were also included in the Toronto area.
There were 1,027 hospitalizations for COVID-19 in 972 patients some re-admissions were included in the study compared to 783 hospitalizations for influenza in 763 patients.