Health Coronavirus: Covid-19 compared to flu: RKI with a new...

Coronavirus: Covid-19 compared to flu: RKI with a new assessment


The virus flu and infection with coronaviruses show certain similarities. An expert reveals which infectious disease is more dangerous and who is at risk.

  • Infection with coronaviruses can be fatal – just like virus flu.
  • However, there are differences depending on the disease – and not just with regard to the risk groups.
  • The virus flu kills countless people every year – far more than a coronavirus infection?

Update from March 21, 2019: The Corona pandemic puts out loud in Germany Robert Koch Institute (RKI) a disease occurrence of unprecedented dimensions. “We are all in a crisis that is of a magnitude that I could never have imagined myself,” warned RKI President Lothar Wieler in Berlin on Friday in his assessment of journalists. The seriousness of the situation must now be completely clear to all citizens and decision-makers. “Everyone has to understand that.”

The RKI chief warned again against comparing the dangerousness of Corona with that of the flu. Also the flu is dangerous, but the so-called disease burden of the novel pathogen is much higher. corona is much easier to transmit and leads to much more severe cases and deaths, especially in the risk groups *. It is to be feared that the Ventilation places in the clinics not enough. Everyone has to “open their eyes to this reality”.

Flu and Covid-19 in comparison: Up to five million severe cases of flu each year

First registration: After the first confirmed coronavirus cases in Bavaria *, Federal Health Minister Spahn declared in the Tagesschau that one was well prepared. He would make the reporting chains even closer and impose additional reporting requirements on airlines and clinics, Spahn said in an interview. In the meantime, 63,079 confirmed coronavirus infections in Germany and 541 deaths force the federal government to take more drastic measures and set up a crisis team. The government’s current measures include strict border controls and exit restrictions.

Many citizens are concerned about new cases of SARS-like lung disease, which is caused by new types of coronavirus *. So far, there are 737,929 coronavirus infections and 35,019 deaths worldwide in 2020
as reported by Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University (as of March 30, 2020). 156,507 people are already healthy again. For comparison: According to the World Health Organization, there are three to five million severe cases of flu worldwide each year. Of these, up to 650,000 people die from the viral disease.

Novel corona virus: Human immune system not prepared for it

But there is a flu vaccine that protects against influenza * – vaccination against the new pathogen Sars-CoV-2 is not yet on the market. “While there are a number of clinical drug trials in China, and vaccines against Covid-19 are under development, so far there are no approved vaccines or therapies for Covid-19 *“Der Spiegel quotes the World Health Organization. With influenza, on the other hand, there are both protective vaccinations and approved antiviral drugs. The fact that our immune system is not prepared for the novel corona virus increases the risk of serious illnesses, which even increases the risk among risk groups * Can lead to death.

Coronavirus infections and flu – further differences at a glance:

  • According to current knowledge, Covid-19 is more often life-threatening than flu. Around 15 percent of coronavirus infections are so severe that patients need additional oxygen. Artificial ventilation is even necessary for five percent of those affected. The death rate in the case of Corona is also said to be higher than that of the normal flu wave. However, this assessment can be classified as provisional, as too many variables relating to the corona virus are still unknown.
  • Corona viruses appear to be more contagious than flu agents. Here, too, doctors cannot give a final evaluation because too little is known about the new virus.
  • Covid-19 has a longer incubation period than the flu. When infected with coronaviruses *, it should take up to 14 days for those affected to show the first symptoms. With flu, it is usually two to three days.
  • According to current knowledge, children and pregnant women are not among the Covid 19 risk groups. In the case of flu, on the other hand, they are among the patients in whom serious illnesses are possible.

Continue reading: Coronavirus: The typical symptoms of Sars-CoV-2 infection.

Video: flu or corona virus – which is worse?

Until now, coronavirus infection has mainly led to death in people with severe previous illnesses. The risk groups * include:

  • People with heart disease
  • Cancer patients
  • older people
  • immunocompromised people (e.g. due to autoimmune diseases)

also read: Does a mask protect against coronavirus infection? Who should wear a face mask.

No coronavirus drug found so far

The situation is similar with the virus flu. Here, too, young, healthy people are far less at risk than older people with previous illnesses or immunodeficiency, according to Kräusslich.

As with a flu infection, there has so far been no drug * that works against the virus when it is infected with coronaviruses. However, symptoms such as respiratory infections or difficulty coughing up can be treated. Treatment is symptomatic of both diseases. “You wait until the body’s immune system can cope with the respective pathogen,” says virologist Krausslich.

Survey on the subject

more on the subject: First coronavirus patient in isolation in Munich.

Continue reading: Coronavirus: what are the symptoms? Lung disease is spreading.

Frankfurt: The tourism industry in Frankfurt clearly feels the effects of the corona virus *. Hotels and trade fairs in particular are affected by the decreasing tourism from China. However, there is no need to worry.

Wiesbaden: The state of Hesse sees itself well prepared for possible coronavirus cases *, said Social Minister Kai Klose.


These viruses and bacteria make us sick

* and belong to the Germany-wide Ippen-Digital editors network


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