Coronavirus is not the flu. It’s worse.

by birtanpublished on June 30, 2020

measles is one of the most contagious

diseases we know just one person is

likely to infect between 12 and 18

people that number is called a diseases

basic reproduction number or are not

scientists use it to describe how

contagious diseases Zika it has an R

nought of up to six point six super

contagious but the seasonal flu just a

little over one and kovat nineteen the

disease caused by the corona virus just

about to that difference between the flu

and covin eighteen doesn't seem so big

especially when you look at them next to

these really contagious diseases plus a

lot of the symptoms of the flu and Kovan

19 are really similar a fever cough they

can even both lead to pneumonia which is

ultimately how they can both be fatal so

thinking of Cova 19 and the flu is

similar is a common and frankly

understandable comparison to want to

make this is like the flu it's a lot

like the flu I like to believe that it's

going to end up more like the flu virus

but wait let's go back to those are not

numbers again if the flu has an R nought

of 13 that means each person gets

either one or two people sick after 10

rounds that's 56 total people and if we

run the model with Kovan nineteen's are

not at – if one person with it gets two

people sick you get two people sick

after 10 rounds that's more than 2,000

people this does not happen with the flu

because Kovan 19 is very different and

understanding how is crucial to

understanding how dangerous it really is

and why we have to take it so seriously


when we start to like look for that

comparison to the flu

we almost like calm ourselves down but

unfortunately that's not quite the right

reaction here every year the seasonal

flu kills as many as 60,000 Americans as

of late March kufan 19 is killed about

34,000 across the whole world but

scientists expect that number to go up

way up tens of thousands of people a

year die of the flu but we haven't had

this for a year yet we found only have

this for a few months

the trouble is coming and we can predict

it and we can see what's coming at least

to certain extent

the first really big difference between

Kovan 19 and the flu is how long it

takes you to feel sick from the moment

you're infected with Cova 19 it usually

takes five days before you start to feel

symptoms but it can take as long as 12

or even 14 days this is the incubation

period the time between when you catch

it and when you first realize you're

sick and scientists think you could be

contagious during most of this period

the flu by comparison has an average

incubation period of just two days you

get sick and pretty soon you feel sick

and you know you're contagious this is

what we're used to but kovat nineteen

flips that around you can be contagious

and spreading it around for several days

and up to two weeks before it even

occurs to you that you're sick and that

leads to the next big difference no

human immune system had seen this virus

before nobody has a natural immunity to

it in flu season there's always a number

of people in the population who are

already immune to the flu that can be

because they got their flu shot or maybe

they've already had that flu strain and

that limits the spread of the virus when

one person is contagious with the flu

they can only spread it to people who

aren't immune who can only spread it to

other people who aren't immune that's

why scientists and doctors urge us to

get our flu shot every year if enough

people have immunity they can kind of

shield the virus from reaching others

the more immunized people the more they

can protect those that are susceptible

to the virus but covet 19 is brand

none of us have had it before and

there's no vaccine which means nearly

everyone on the planet is susceptible so

when a contagious person who may not

even know they're infected

comes into contact with others it can

spread like wildfire and then you see

how much more dangerous Cova 19 can be

only two percent of people with the flu

need to be hospitalized but 22 even 30%

of people's who test positive for kuva

19 do and we're still learning about

covin 19's fatality rate but scientists

think it's somewhere between 1 and 3

percent but the flus rate is even lower

01% and that's a disease that can kill

60,000 people a year in the US alone

that's what dr Anthony Fauci the us

is leading infectious disease expert

tried to clear up to Congress people

always say well the flu you know the flu

does this the flu does that the flu has

a mortality of 01% this has a mortality

of 10 times that this is a really

serious problem that we have to take

seriously and he's just talking about

the average across all age groups for

older people or people with compromised

immune systems it can be way higher and

that's especially scary when you

remember all the other things that are

different about kovin 19 the

infectiousness how hard it is to know

you have it how susceptible we all are

to it estimates vary but some scientists

have warned that between 20 and 60

percent of the world's population could

become infected with the virus

because kovat 19 has no cure and no

vaccine the only defense we have against

it is social we can take ourselves out

of the chain not with immunity but with

social distancing just physically not

being around anyone and stayin home as

much as possible but that only works if

each of us takes it seriously which is

why comparing it to the flu while

understandable is not helpful it's

natural to want to find a comparison to

want to make the seem small when we use

the flu as the backdrop it almost numbs

us for a cat anomalous and make us maybe

even feel better about the current


the current situation is bad so now is

not the time to be Nam we need to be

vigilant and use our vigilance for

useful actions


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