rfi– A French study published Friday has found that Covid-19 is three times more deadly than the seasonal flu.
Run by the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research and Dijon University Hospital, the study, published in The Lancet, was carried out on nearly 130,000 patients in public and private hospitals in France.
Researchers compared Covid admissions during the spring of 2020, at the height of the French epidemic, with influenza admissions between December 2018 and February 2019 – a particularly deadly flu season.
The mortality rate for Covid patients was 16.9 percent, with 15,104 deaths out of 89,530 patients between 1 March and 30 April, compared with 5.8 percent mortality for seasonal influenza, with 2,640 deaths out of 45,819 patients.
The study also found that more Covid patients were admitted to intensive care wards – 16.3 percent versus 10.8 percent – with Covid sufferers more prone to respiratory issues. A quarter experienced respiratory failure, compared to one in five flu patients.
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In addition, the length of the average hospital stay was almost twice as long for Covid than for influenza, at 15 days versus 8 days.
While fewer children under 18 were hospitalised for Covid compared to seasonal flu, proportionally more children under age five were admitted to hospital.