Health

Flu jab 2020: Are you more likely to die from flu or coronavirus?

The flu and coronavirus are both highly contagious respiratory diseases, but they are brought on by different strains of virus. COVID-19 is caused by the SARS CoV2 strain of coronavirus, while the flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are so similar, it may be hard to tell the different between them based on symptoms alone, which is why testing is so important.

Are you more likely to die of flu or coronavirus?

Data from UK Research and Innovation suggests the coronavirus had a fatality rate six to 16 times higher than the common flu when it was first around.

However, as coronavirus numbers dwindled over recent month, the flu was found to be killing 10 times as many people as COVID-19 according to the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Of deaths registered in the week ending August 28 in the UK, just 101 were down to coronavirus.

The ONS says 12.6 percent of deaths were caused by flu and pneumonia, compared to 1.1 percent because of coronavirus.


The ONS explained: "The number of deaths registered in England and Wales involving COVID-19 decreased by 37 deaths from 138 in Week 34 to 101 in Week 35, the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths registered since Week 11 (Week ending March 13) – the first week COVID-19 deaths were registered (five deaths).

"Of all deaths registered in Week 35 (week ending August 28), 1.1 percent mentioned COVID-19, down from 1.4 percent in Week 34."

Even though flu deaths are outdoing coronavirus mortalities, they remain very low for this time of year.

This is likely to be due to vulnerable and elderly individuals taking extra safety precautions in the wake of the pandemic.


Professor Karol Sikora said the Government needed to acknowledge that other illnesses and conditions are still killing people.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said Boris Johnson should have acknowledged a surge in infections in healthy young people.

Professor Sikora said young people are "largely invulnerable to coronavirus, while emphasising another critical statistic: last week ten times as many people died in England of flu and pneumonias as of Covid".

He added that the Government had "ignored" the human cost of the coronavirus lockdown.

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The medical professional said the only way the NHS was able to survive was by "shutting itself down to all but COVID admissions, A&E and maternity care".

Professor Sikora added he predicts there will be at least 30,000 extra cancer deaths due to the "hobbling diagnostic service".

Last month, the ONS revealed that conditions like dementia and heart disease had also overtaken the virus in terms of mortality.

In July, there were 38,179 reported deaths in England, only 2.6 percent of which were accountable by coronavirus.

This equates to 976 deaths, and data in Wales showed the virus did not feature in its top ten leading causes of death.

The ONS says the leading cause of death in July were dementia and Alzheimer's disease, accounting for 10.6 percent of deaths in England.

Ischamic heart disease accounted for 11.7 percent of all deaths in Wales.

Alzheimer's disease has been the leading cause of death in England since 2015, accounting for 4,035 deaths in July 2020.



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