Covid: How worried should we be? News

by Michael Stoyanov


Winter looks like it is going to be tough. Cases are rising across the whole of the UK, the restrictions on our lives are already tightening, there are fears some hospitals are starting to fill up and there are ongoing political and scientific rows.

It feels like there is a constant stream of information and you would be forgiven for getting lost in the whirlwind of headlines.

So - let is keep this really straight and really simple. Where are we, is this a repeat of spring and how worried should we be?

Covid is still mostly mild

Do not forget the overwhelming majority of people do recover from Covid and it is often a mild disease.

The main symptoms are a cough, fever and a loss of sense of smell and most will recuperate at home.

It is estimated that 1% to 3% of people who catch the virus require hospital treatment.

But it is more deadly than flu

The number of people that die after catching the virus, known as the infection fatality rate, is about 0.5%. Or one death in every 200 people infected.

That is five to 25 times more deadly than a seasonal flu infection, despite ongoing myths that Covid is just like flu.

Influenza kills between 0.02% and 0.1% of people who are infected.

Some people are at higher risk

People of any age can die from Covid, but the risks are higher the older you are.

Only a tiny fraction of people under the age of 45 die after catching the virus and the risk really picks up after the age of 65.


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