French Study on Covid-19 : Covid is not “a fluke”.

French study on Covid-19 reveals that three times as many patients die from the new coronavirus in hospital than from the classic seasonal flu.

The death rate with Covid-19 was three times higher than that of patients affected by influenza.

The Covid-19 is not a “flu”, as some said at the start of the pandemic, shows a French study published on Friday. The novel coronavirus kills three times as many hospital deaths as the classic seasonal flu.

The study, published in, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, the medical journal, is based on data from more than 135,000 French patients :-

  • 89,530 hospitalized with Covid-19 in March and April 2020
  • 45,819 hospitalized with influenza From December’2018 to February’2019

The death rate of patients with Covid-19 has been 3 times higher than patients affected by influenza: 16.9% for the former which means more than 15,000 deaths out of 89,500 patients, against 5.8% for the second, greater than 2,600 deaths in 45,800 patients.

French Study on Covid-19

“Our study is the widest to date to compare the two diseases and confirms that the Covid-19 is highly serious than the flu”, comments in a press release one of the authors, Professor Catherine Quantin of the Dijon University Hospital, a researcher at INSERM.

French Study on Covid-19 v/s Killer flu in 2018-2019

“The fact that death rate from Covid-19 is 3 times higher than that of seasonal flu is particularly striking when we know that the flu of the winter of 2018-2019 was the worst in France for the number of deaths in last 5 years,” she added. The study presented that patients hospitalized for Covid-19 were more admitted to ICU. 16.3% of them were treated in ICU services which are generally reserved for severe cases, where 10.8% for those with the flu. Similarly, the stay in intensive care was longer for Covid patients than for flu patients (15 days against eight days).

Besides, there have been fewer children and adolescents hospitalized for Covid-19 than for the flu. This age group represented 1.4% of total patients in the initial case and 19.5% in the second case. The researchers have seen three deaths of children under the age of five from Covid-19 and 13 from the flu, during the periods selected.

All of this data was drawn from an administrative base, the Information Systems Medicalization Program (PMSI), which covers both public and private hospitals.

However, the authors note a possible limit to the respective study. The testing policies for influenza are undoubtedly variable from one hospital to another. At the same time, those for Covid-19 are more standardized, which can lead to underestimating the number of patients hospitalized for influenza.