How deadly is COVID-19 compared to the seasonal flu?


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Every year, America braces as flu season sets in. It takes a toll on the country as tens of thousands of people die every year.

Dr. Jayesh Patel, an infectious disease consultant at TriStar Skyline Medical Center explained that while it’s devastating to lose anyone, the death rate is not staggering.

“Because of probably vaccinations and the treatment like we have Tamiflu and medications, the mortality is not that high with the seasonal flu probably 0.1 percent,” explained Dr. Patel.

A death rate considerably lower than what top doctors from around the world suspect COVID-19 to have.

“Right now,” Dr. Patel said, “The numbers are changing because now we have more testing. We can tell who was infected, who was not. But we believe at least 1 percent, that’s a big number, 1 percent of the population even under the best of circumstances will die from this illness.”

Which puts those individuals positive for Covid-19 at a 10 times great risk of dying from this than from the flu.

The speed in which the novel coronavirus travels is also concerning Dr. Patel.

“This particular strain is very different. I believe it is much more contagious. If you don’t do social distancing, there will be a big surge and the number will be a lot more,” said Dr. Patel.

He has a message for those who want to re-open the economy.

“To all those people who are clamoring to get out and about, please do all the things you can like hand washing, keep a safe distance, please wear masks. Please be careful when you get out there,” said Dr. Patel.

Doctors stress the importance of getting your annual flu shot.

If you have any questions about COVID-19, the state has two public information lines open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at (833) 556-2476 and (877) 857-2945.

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