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Health

COVID-19 deadlier, causes more severe diseases than influenza – study – The Jerusalem Post

Former Health Ministry director-general Prof. Yoram Lass stunned the public when he said COVID-19 “is the flu with excellent public relations” in March 2020 and expressed his objections to the health regulations imposed by the government to curb the infection rate. Now it seems researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston found Lass was quite mistaken, with the virus being six times more fatal than influenza. 
The study compared 1,052 patients with influenza and 582 patients with COVID-19 and found more people on average needed hospital care if infected with the novel coronavirus (582) when compared to those suffering from influenza (210). Roughly 30% among those suffering from COVID-19 needed mechanical ventilation whereas only 8% among those with influenza needed such treatment. The death toll among those suffering from the novel coronavirus was much higher – 20% – compared to a 3% mortality rate suffered by those infected with influenza. 
Furthermore, COVID-19 patients, on average, were younger than those suffering from influenza and when they needed mechanical ventilation they tended to remain in care longer – a median duration of two weeks compared to three days, news-medical.net reported on Friday. COVID-19 patients also reported less pre-existing conditions which would require such an intense form of intervention. 
Nearly all COVID-19 deaths, 98%, were the direct or indirect result of the novel coronavirus, wrote Dr. Michael Donnino, one of the authors of the article. He stressed that this means people die from COVID-19, not while they had it. This is crucial as, online and in during protests, many people argued that the death rate is being allegedly “fabricated” and that hospitals are being encouraged to report false data.The false understanding that COVID-19 is not actually the cause of death seems to have originated in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention September report that stated that 6% among COVID-19 deaths listed COVID-19 as the direct, and only, cause, the science portal Midaat pointed out. The authors of the study also noted that, without the social distancing and mask wearing measures, the death rates from COVID-19 would have been much higher than what their study showed. 

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The study was originally published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine

With the exception of a small group in the Israeli public that accepted conspiracy theories about COVID-19, most Israelis rejected Lass’s theories.

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