If you are aware, the starting phase of the pandemic caused acute respiratory syndrome in people, leading to their death. Researchers studied Coronavirus-led death in 2019 with those caused by influenza in the fall and winter of 2022-2023. At that time, such deaths were five times more than seasonal influenza.
But vaccination drives and therapies using monoclonal antibodies and antivirals quickly reduced the death toll of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Plus, better immunity response and clinical care further impacted the scenario positively. Experts opine these developments may also have affected influenza virus-induced deaths. That’s why scientists and researchers have been interested in this subject.
The process of analysis
There was hesitancy about vaccination among people at certain stages, to which even behavioral and human resource experts would testify. Due to this, the idea of introducing incentive programs emerged to encourage people. Nevertheless, let’s focus on the study. A reputable survey included participants who were at least once in the hospital between 2020 and 2023 after testing positive for COVID-19 or influence within two to ten days of the examination.
The study didn’t take people who contracted both infections. After hospitalization, the researcher monitored them for a month until death. They used Cox survival methods with inverse probability weighting to compare the mortality risk of COVID-19 and influenza patients. They checked propensity scores and absolute risks. Factors like age, COVID-19 immunization, the severity of the infection, and others also formed a part of the process.
Outcomes of the study
Findings revealed that the COVID-19-led death rate among older age groups was comparatively higher than influenza-induced events in 2022-2023 during the fall and winter seasons. When the study was going, COVID-related hospital admissions were around 8,996, and 538 died. Conversely, 2,403 people with influenza were in the hospital, and 76 died. Thirty days of observation revealed that COVID-19-associated deaths comprised about 5.97% of the total cases, while the seasonal influenza-led death count stood at 3.75%. So, there was 2.23% more death due to coronavirus. When studied further, researchers also realized that COVID-19 vaccines reduced the mortality rate, but antiviral treatment and age didn’t impact it.
Nevertheless, it’s essential to recognize that the COVID-19 mortality rate could be higher than seasonal flu infection, but hospitalization and overall mortality rates have greatly improved since 2020. The hospitalization rate was 17% earlier, and the death toll was 21%. And if you look at the impact of seasonal influenza on health, the mortality rate has mostly stayed the same. It was 3.8% in 2020 and 3.7% in 2023. According to healthcare experts, decreased Coronavirus-led mortality rate can be attributable to different factors, such as low virulence of the current SARS-CoV-2 lineage, enhanced immunity of the people due to vaccination and infection, and better clinical care.
When comparing the death rate among vaccinated, boosted, and unvaccinated populations, one will realize the significance of this tool in the fight against the COVID infection. Besides this, it’s also critical to know that this study mainly included veterans. Any generalization may not help beyond a certain point. However, the COVID-19 fight is still on, but it’s no longer an emergency. If someone gets an infection, they must take a test and other precautions.