According to CNBC, the coronavirus is at least as deadly as the 1918 flu pandemic and the death toll could even be worse if world leaders and public health officials fail to adequately contain it, researchers warned in a study published Thursday in the medical journal JAMA Network Open.
“What we want people to know is that this has 1918 potential,” lead author Dr. Jeremy Faust said in an interview, adding that the outbreak in New York was at least 70% as bad as the one in 1918 when doctors didn’t have ventilators or other advances to help save lives like they do today. “This is not something to just shrug off like the flu.”
Researchers compared excess deaths in New York City during the peak of the 1918 pandemic with those during the first few months of the Covid-19 outbreak. They used public data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the U.S. Census Bureau to conduct their analysis.