Covid patients at higher risk of death than those with flu: Study

New York, Dec 16 : While many earlier reports stressed that seasonal flu is more dangerous than Covid-19, a new study suggests that Covid-19 can also be more deadly or the flu's equal.

The study, published in the journal The BMJ, revealed a clearer distinction between the two contagious viruses.

Among hospitalized patients, Covid-19 was associated with an increased need for ventilators, more admissions into intensive care units (ICUs), longer hospital stays and nearly five times the risk of death than faced by those with the flu.

"And although both illnesses attack the lungs, the analysis showed Covid-19 can also damage other organs," said the study authors from Washington University in the US.

It revealed that Covid-19 was associated with a higher risk of complications such as acute kidney and liver damage, as well as heart disorders, stroke, severe septic shock, low blood pressure, excessive blood clotting and new-onset diabetes.

For the study, the researchers examined information involving 3,641 patients hospitalized in the US with Covid-19 at some point from February 1 through June 17, as well as 12,676 patients hospitalised with the flu at some point from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019.

The average age of patients with either Covid-19 or the flu was 69.

Among patients hospitalized for either Covid-19 or the flu, those infected with the novel coronavirus were nearly five times more likely to die than those with influenza.

Of the 12,676 patients with flu, 674 (5.3 per cent) died, and of 3,641 patients with Covid-19, 676 (18.5 per cent) died.

In addition, on average, the Covid-19 patients were four times more likely to require breathing machines and almost 2.5 times more likely to be treated in the ICU.

Also, Covid-19 patients were more likely to be hospitalized longer, an average of three extra days.

One of the biggest surprises in the study was the finding of a higher risk of developing diabetes among Covid-19 patients than flu patients -- nine more cases per 100 people.

The data analysis also showed that the Covid-19 patients most at risk of death were those 75 years old and older who also had chronic kidney disease or dementia.

Compared with flu patients, people with Covid-19 also required more medications to treat severely low blood pressure, a condition that can lead to organ damage and death - 11.5 more people per 100 people.



Source: IANS