"That said, it is around 2 per cent on average, which is about 20 times higher than for the seasonal flu lineages currently in circulation."

Covid-19 vs the flu: What’s the difference?


For those that haven't quite grasped the reality of the coronavirus outbreak, it's easy to think it's just a super-charged cold. After all, many of the symptoms are familiar: fevers, sore throats, coughs and aches and pains.

But experts are quick to point out that coronavirus, which causes the illness we now know as Covid-19, is deadly in approximately 3.5 per cent of cases while the seasonal flu's mortality rate is typically around 0.1 per cent.

"There is still considerable uncertainty around the fatality rates of Covid-19 and it likely varies depending on the quality of local healthcare," Francois Balloux, professor of computational systems biology at University College London told newswire service, Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"That said, it is around 2 per cent on average, which is about 20 times higher than for the seasonal flu lineages currently in circulation."

Those most at risk

It looks like it's the very young and very old, or those with compromised immune systems who won't be able to fight the virus.

Coronavirus originated in China and an analysis of 45,000 confirmed cases showed the vast majority of deaths, 14.8 per cent, were those aged over 80.

But that doesn't mean you get a free pass if you haven't taken out a concession card yet. Another Chinese study revealed 41 per cent of confirmed cases occurred in those aged under 50.

Today, France announced that from Monday it would put the country in lockdown and close all schools, as children are seen as major carriers of the disease. French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the country and also advised that children be kept away from their grandparents, as the elderly are susceptible to the disease.

How contagious is it?

According to disease experts, every coronavirus carrier infects 2-3 others.

Flu patients usually infect 1.3 others, which means coronavirus is twice as contagious.

How do we treat it?

According to French deputy health minister, Jerome Salomon, the flu is a known entity while we are dealing with something new when it comes to coronavirus.

"We've studied it closely," he told AFP.

"This new virus resembles the flu in terms of physical symptoms but there are huge differences."

First up, there's no vaccine. As previously reported by bodyandsoul.com.au, researchers are working on it but they haven't cracked it yet and there's no known effective treatment.

What it has in common with the flu

How it spreads is one of them. Which means that the measures we take to prevent the flu and other infectious diseases can help prevent coronavirus.

This involves common sense stuff such as washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, avoiding contact with other, not touching your face and wearing a facemask to stop the spread of germs.

It all sounds pretty simple, but according to Salomon only two in 10 people wash their hands after going the bathroom.

"And only 42 per cent of people cover their mouth with an elbow or tissue when they cough or sneeze," he said.

So practice proper hygiene people. It could save your life.

Essential coronavirus reading: what you need to know

How Australians should sensibly prepare for a COVID-19 pandemic, the most dangerous myths to not buy into, why surgical face masks aren't the answer, the five-step hand washing method to memorise, the proper way to use hand sanitiser, why hand dryers are a part of the problem and the seven most effective ways to protect yourself, according to a doctor.

News Corp Australia

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