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Covid in record low and flu: which was more lethal in the last year and why the data impacts

2023-03-18T09:25:47.761Z


The highest mark of flu cases of the decade occurred. Although Omicron is less aggressive, its lethality exceeded 30 times that of influenza. What do the experts say?


Between the first and the last week of 2022 there were

1,293,331 cases

of influenza and

143 people died

from that cause, according to official data.

In the same period, there were 4,322,333

Covid

cases and

12,967 deaths

.

The fatality rate of the new coronavirus thus exceeded

30 times

that of the flu.

The huge difference occurred even at a time when the lethality of Covid experienced

a setback

.

It is enough to note that since the beginning of the pandemic there have been

130,472 deaths

from this cause in the country.

In other words, those that occurred in 2022 represented

less than 10 percent

.

This decrease was like this for three reasons: one, that the Omicron variant was less lethal because it stayed mostly in the upper

airways

and stayed away from the lungs, the lodging place, the latter, preferred by the previous variants, with the consequent tendency of fatal pneumonias.

The second reason for the decrease in the lethality of Covid was the

advance of vaccination

, which although at the time of the reinforcements did not advance as much as desired, it had a first massive coverage scheme.

The third cause was

acquired immunity

, due to the fact that a large proportion of the population had already had the infection at least once, taking into account the logical

underreporting

of asymptomatic or mild cases.

Serious Covid cases dropped over the course of 2022. Photo: AP

Despite these arguments, the damage caused by the flu was

extremely minor

, if the balance of cases and deaths reported by the National Epidemiological Bulletin is taken as a reference.

Fewer deaths even when flu cases marked

the decade record

in 2022 , surpassing the 2016 mark.

The fatality rate of the Covid was then

0.3 percent

in the last year (if the entire pandemic is taken it is 1.3 percent), while that of the flu was

0.01

.

Clarín

consulted the Ministry of Health to reconfirm this last data (historical records indicate a greater lethal impact of influenza), and they corroborated it.

Because

Was

the difference in lethality between Covid and influenza

so wide ?

It is evident that the Covid,

even in its kindest version

, is not a "little flu", as Jair Bolsonaro and other politicians underestimated at the time who did not go so far as to call it that but tended to reduce the weight of the pandemic.

Clarín

consulted experts on the subject.

“The influenza virus

circulated with much less intensity

than SARS-CoV-2.

And 85 percent of deaths from Covid occurred in people over 50 years of age," explained Eduardo López, head of the Department of Medicine at the Ricardo Gutiérrez Children's Hospital.

The infectologist added that "the Covid virus

is much more aggressive

than the influenza virus. This has been shown in different studies and countries and must be associated with the increased circulation of Covid. In addition, there may be deaths from influenza

that have not been studied

in regions with less diagnostic capacity, with which there could be some degree of underreporting”.

Despite the record number of flu cases in 2022, López warns that the circulation of the Covid was much greater.

Photo: Luciano Thieberger

Elizabeth Bogdanowicz, member of the Infectious Diseases Committee of the Argentine Society of Pediatrics.

She explained that "although Covid and the flu are two respiratory viruses, from a physiopathogenic point of view, Covid has the

ability to attack the lung

in a very particular way."

The expert continued: “It is true that Ómicron does not have the same mortality rate that Covid initially had, but it is also true that there are many people who did

not complete the vaccination schemes

.

Today, the people who are having problems with Covid are, in general, people with underlying diseases”.

For this reason, Bogdanowicz warned: "Beyond the

five doses

of vaccines that we have today -the percentage of the population that has them is low-, until everyone is vaccinated with the

bivalent vaccine

, we will continue to see deaths from Covid.

The vaccines that we have given previously do not have good protection for the Omicron strain”.

Regarding influenza, he recalled that “every year there are deaths from the flu, generally patients with severe underlying diseases.

That is why people at risk

should be vaccinated annually

, not to avoid the flu but to reduce the serious forms that can lead to death."

Regarding this recommendation, the Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, launched this Friday in San Martín de los Andes the

2023 influenza vaccination campaign

, aimed at health personnel, pregnant and postpartum people, babies from 6 to 24 months, people 2 to 64 years with risk factors and general population over 65.

PS

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Source: clarin

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