How many people have died as a result of the flu and the COVID-19 pandemic
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If we look at the number of deaths from pandemics over the last 100 years, calculating the average number of deaths per month with each of them, the deadliest will be the Spanish flu, known as the Spanish flu, which began in the spring of 1918 and lasted for two years. According to various estimates, 100 out of 17.4 million people died as a result, which means that 6.3 million people died every month. The extent of the disaster complicated the post-war years and a lower level of medicine.
The next flu pandemics were on a much smaller scale in terms of the number of victims and can be linked to each other in one way or another. The last previous COVID-19 was a swine flu pandemic. The influenza A (H1N1) virus was first detected in Mexico in April 2009 and spread worldwide within a few weeks. According to official WHO data, the pandemic killed 18.5 thousand people. However, the data were then recalculated and it was concluded that there are many more victims (152 thousand to 575 thousand).
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Thus, according to maximum estimates, this virus killed an average of 70 thousand people a month. In August 2010, the WHO announced the transition of the disease to the post-pandemic phase. Thus, the pandemic lasted 15 months.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for eight months (since the WHO reported it), and no one can predict how long it will last. More people have died during this period than in the 2009-2010 swine flu wave.
The countries most affected by COVID-19 in terms of the number of deaths were the United States, Brazil and India. Italy, Spain and France – the European countries that were the first to encounter the pandemic – are also stable in the top ten.
The list of states with the highest number of deaths per million inhabitants looks similar, but their countries are divided differently.
Russia, which is on the list of the top 15 countries in terms of the total number of deaths, ranks 54th (32 thousand dead) in calculating the number of COVID-19 victims per million inhabitants. At the same time, it seems that the WHO is driven by data from the operational headquarters for the fight against coronavirus. At the same time, Rosstat shows much more deaths, based on death certificates from the registry office: according to the latest data provided, from April to September, more than 55 thousand Russians were killed with COVID-19.
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Influenza and COVID-19 affect different age risk groups. In the first case, according to the WHO, the disease poses a risk to children, pregnant women and the elderly. When it comes to coronavirus, the elderly are at higher risk here (and so are any elderly people with chronic illnesses, the same goes for the flu). RBK).
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SARS-CoV-2’s Age-Based Mortality and Immunity Models In an article published in the journal Nature in November, the researchers confirmed data on the age distribution of deaths in 45 countries. From this study, RBC selected 14 European and Latin American countries with a total population of 627 million and calculated the percentage of deaths in each age category (the sample is based on the comparability of the age ranges considered in the study in those countries). It was realized that COVID-19 is the most dangerous for people over 70 years of age. Nearly two-thirds of all deaths are in this segment.
The disease is easily tolerated by children. They account for 2% of deaths among 20-40 year olds. But people in these age groups with a mild infection can help spread the disease.
Although more age categories have been attributed to influenza risk groups, there are more serious cases of the disease with COVID-19, scientists say. This is because in the case of the flu, exposure to past seasonal infections and mass vaccines can limit the number of infections. But everyone can suffer from the virus that causes COVID-19 because of the novelty.
When and how long the patient is infected
Another malicious feature of coronavirus is the incubation period. It is an average of five to six days from the time of infection to the onset of symptoms with COVID-19, but can increase to 14 days. With the flu, the incubation period lasts an average of two days, but can be as long as four. That is, with COVID-19, a person can no longer feel the disease.
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Recent research has indicated that carriers of COVID-19 remain infectious for a longer period of time. According to Rospotrebnadzor, with the flu, the patient becomes ill one day before the onset of clinical manifestations of the disease. The maximum period for which the patient is contagious is three days of illness.
According to the WHO, those infected with the new type of coronavirus are most infectious two days before the onset of symptoms and in the early stages of the disease. Those who develop a serious illness may spread COVID-19 for longer.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that mild to moderate COVID-19 patients are contagious within ten days and immunocompressed patients up to 20 days after the onset of symptoms.
Use containment measures and masks
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the WHO recommends the use of a number of measures: in addition to wearing a mask, in addition to keeping your distance, you should also wash and disinfect your hands frequently. The effectiveness of the widespread use of masks has not been proven, but experts point out the need to use them in public places, such as public transport and shops (Rospotrebnadzor has introduced such requirements throughout Russia since October 28).
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Demonstrations against measures taken by states in Europe have included a demand for the use of personal protective equipment. And in Russia, there was a request to wear masks (as of November 15, more than 13 thousand people had signed up). Appeals, among other things, indicate the risks of self-infection as a result of improper or excessive use of the mask (the WHO also states that masks should be used with caution). And it can also be a useful mask to “reduce the risk of infection by contacting a patient with a previous disease.” This is what the WHO draws attention to in its recommendations: “Masks can play the role of a barrier that prevents the spread of contaminated respiration by the virus of an infected person.”
According to Rospotrebnadzor, wearing masks reduces the chance of infecting all types of respiratory infections by 1.8 times, and reduces the chances of gloves by 1.3 times.
In a recent study, Japanese scientists concluded that a cloth mask stores 17% of virus particles, a three-layer surgical mask – 47%, and a mask like N95 protects 79%.