As more people are infected with COVID-19,fewer people are getting the flu. Some people have suggested that COVID-19 has replaced the flu as a common winter infection, and many believe that the flu and COVID-19 are similar. This is not true. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs compared outcomes for people with COVID-19 in 2020 to outcomes for people who were hospitalized with the flu in 2019. They found that, compared to the flu, COVID-19 was much more serious and deadly. In fact, people with COVID-19 had a higher risk of kidney damage, uncontrolled diabetes requiring insulin, sepsis, blood clots, stroke, heart inflammation and sudden death. People with COVID-19 also had higher risk of admission to intensive care and longer hospital stay. Death rates from COVID-19 were generally highest in older and Black individuals. For example, compared to seasonal flu, death rates from COVID-19 were highest in adults older than 75 years with chronic kidney disease or dementia, and also in Black people with obesity, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. The data show that COVID-19 is much more serious than flu.
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