Covid-19 vs Flu: Death Rates
(CTN News) – Although Covid-19 shares some similarities with influenza, it’s had a more severe impact on New Zealanders than influenza usually does.
Covid-19 has been identified as the underlying or contributing cause of more than 2000 deaths this year. In the past 30 years, 695 people have died from influenza or pneumonia each year. The highest number of influenza or pneumonia-related deaths since 1991 was 1197, and the lowest was 382.
This year, Covid-19 killed more people than influenza did, as well as putting more people in hospitals.
As a result of Covid-19, over 20,000 people were admitted to hospitals in 2022. 6547 people were hospitalized as a result of influenza in 2019.
Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 people in 2022 were compared with death statistics for other diseases (the most recent data available is from 2019).
Covid-19 was only considered as a contributing or underlying cause of death in deaths that had Covid-19 as the underlying or causing cause; people who died with Covid-19 but not from it were excluded.
Year-to-date 2022 Covid-19 deaths. The latest publicly available data on other deaths is for 2019.
The Covid-19 death rate for 2022 is far behind 2019’s heart disease death rate per 100,000, but it outranks lung cancer, bowel cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes deaths.
Baker noted that the health system has made a considerable effort to identify deaths caused or contributed to by Covid-19 two years in advance of other diseases.
In addition to killing more people than many diseases, Covid deaths surpassed this year’s road toll and suspected suicides for 2019.
In addition to clear guidelines on workplace safety, schools and social events, he would like to see masks returned to public transportation, particularly buses and trains. These are notoriously difficult to ventilate.
In the event that the current wave intensifies further, he said masks could be used in other high-risk settings.
Long-term care should also be taken into account.
The summer of uncertainty for Covid-19 deaths is just around the corner
As per Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa’s Dr Emily Harvey, the current wave of Covid cases is likely to peak this month.
As of now, we’re still looking at the end of December, around Christmas.
As a result of reporting behavior, cases are very unpredictable, but modelling suggests reported cases could peak between 10,000 and 14,000 per day.
Covid-19 infection rates are expected to be as high as July’s deadly wave, which resulted in 554 deaths, around a quarter of all deaths from Covid in 2022.
In December and January, there may be a peak in hospitalizations, and most deaths will likely occur during those weeks.
She said that the current model did not take into account the impact of antivirals. In addition to reducing the severity of illness, these medications are available to those at higher risk. There is a possibility that the deaths from this wave of Covid-19 could be lower than those from July if these drugs were widely used.
Age 65 and older, Mori or Pacific ethnicity individuals aged 50 or older, individuals without vaccinations, and those with other risk factors are eligible to receive antivirals.
It is essential for them to be used immediately after an infection in order for them to work. As a result, people should be able to detect Covid as early as possible in their infection and get a prescription, and have it filled, quickly,” she explained.
If you need antivirals before the practices close over Christmas, you may be able to get an advance prescription through your GP.
400 pharmacies offer antivirals without a prescription, but Dr Rawiri Keenan of the University of Waikato worries this won’t ensure easy access.
As Christmas and New Year fall on Sundays this year and are observed on Tuesdays, many pharmacies will be closed from Saturday afternoon until Wednesday morning.
“From infection to diabetes, prevention is better than cure,” says Keenan, who is concerned we rely too heavily on treatment.
Baker and Harvey recommend taking precautions ahead of the Christmas holidays to keep older relatives, who are most at risk, safe from Covid-19.
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