Which is More Dangerous: Flu or COVID-19?

One Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group doctor said influenza is a "lot less lethal" than COVID-19 due to the coronavirus strain's novel nature

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There is some confusion this week coming out of the White House on the severity of the novel coronavirus.

President Donald Trump claimed in a Tweet that COVID-19 is less lethal than influenza in most populations. Facebook and Twitter deleted that post over misleading information, however.

NBC 7 spoke with local medical experts on which of the two are more deadly and dangerous for the average person.

Dr. Abisola Olulade with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group was quick to answer that COVID-19 is much more dangerous and deadly.

“The truth is that the flu is a lot less deadly than COVID," Dr. Olulade said. "We’ve definitely seen more deaths with COVID and the fact that we don’t have any FDA approved treatments for COVID, we don’t have a vaccine for COVID. It’s a really novel virus that really none of us have ever come in contact with and that’s extremely dangerous when it comes to COVID."

Currently, more than 210,000 deaths have been associated with COVID-19 in the United States -- an that’s since just February.

Since 2010, the number of flu deaths in the country have varied quite a bit each year; ranging from 12,000 in 2011, to 61,000 in 2017.

The Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC) has recently come out with new information on the transmission of COVID-19 called airborne transmission. The agency determined the virus is spread through exposure to those virus-containing respiratory droplets comprised of smaller droplets and particles that can remain in the air over long distances, usually greater than 6 feet; and time, typically hours.

Not every doctor agrees with ho the CDC estimates yearly flu deaths. NBC 7's Alexis Rivas heard from two with differing onpinions.

That’s something that we don’t generally see with the flu.

Also, complications that medical professionals are seeing from COVID-19 differ greatly from the flu.

“We do see blood clots and strokes, and this is something that is seen at a very alarming rate as compared to the flu," said Dr. Olulade. "We’re also seeing this phenomenon called a multi-system inflammatory syndrome which was something that was not identified before the onset of COVID. There are a lot of reasons why it is not just another flu."

Gathering indoors, especially in places that are not adequately ventilated, is something that everyone should try to avoid, especially during flu season.

‘Tis the season for blooming flowers and pollen, causing allergies for many people. With many allergies resembling symptoms of COVID-19, NBC 7’s Ashley Matthews breaks down the differences and when you should contact your doctor.

A lot of the symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 can seem pretty similar, but one sure sign that it’s most likely the coronavirus is the loss of taste or smell.

Some people may also have allergies right now, so the best thing one can do is take some allergy medicine to eliminate that from the list.

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