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Q: Is COVID-19 more dangerous than the flu?

Yes, COVID-19 is much more dangerous than the flu.

Some people still believe that COVID-19 is not a serious disease, but it is. Even though COVID and influenza share some similar symptoms, COVID-19 is much more dangerous.

For one thing, it’s much more contagious. It spreads more easily from person to person, including through airborne transmission. It can take longer for people to start showing symptoms, meaning they can spread the disease for days without knowing they have it. They also stay contagious for longer with COVID-19 than they do with the flu.

COVID-19 is also more likely to cause severe illness and complications and is also more likely to be fatal.

While the CDC estimates as many as 62,000 people died from flu complications last year, at least 215,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the eight months since the pandemic started.
Maybe most importantly, COVID-19 is a new disease. We don’t yet have a vaccine to prevent it, and treatments are still limited. We do have a vaccine to help prevent influenza, as well as effective treatments to reduce the chances of complications.

The bottom line is, COVID-19 is a very serious and dangerous disease, and we need to take it seriously. The most effective way to protect yourself and slow the spread of this virus is to stay home when possible, avoid gatherings, stay six feet apart from people not in your household, wear a mask when you’re in public, and wash your hands frequently.

Chrissy Miller
Employee Health Manager, Maui Health