Ioannidis: “Covid-19 mortality is comparable to severe seasonal flu”

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As time goes on, a more optimistic picture emerges about the initial “terrorist” statistics, which led many governments to “roll down” their economies and quarantine their population.

Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Statistics concludes this article in his Sunday Times article. Giannis Ioannidis, Stanford University School of Medicine in California

And many of his colleagues around the world may have criticized him as overly optimistic and hasty to lift restrictive measures, but he says he prefers to look at the real numbers for the coroner (not even the mathematical models often based on estimates). not to spread “horror stories” and fake news – as he characteristically states – that just attract attention.

In his Sunday Times article, in collaboration with him Rohan SilvaProfessor Ioannidis, a former adviser to the British prime minister and an associate of the London School of Economics (LSE), stresses that “first, it is clear that Covid-19 is much more common than previously thought.”


“The vast majority of people who become infected have mild or no symptoms. Researchers have tested the population for antibodies and have come to the same conclusion: the number of people infected with Covid-19 is many times higher than official statistics show, “said the professor.

Second, as the article points out, “the evidence clearly shows that Covid-19 is far less lethal than we initially feared.”


“Given the large number of undiagnosed cases, the disease has a mortality rate comparable to a severe seasonal flu, at least in areas where hospitals and nursing homes have not been flooded. We also see a sharp decline in the mortality rate of Covid-19, with about 90% to 95% of deaths in Europe affecting people over 65 years of age. For children and young people, we know that Covid-19 is less lethal than the flu, ”he said.

“The risk of death from Covid-19 is low, so politicians can assure the public that our worst fears have passed.”


Third, according to the authors of the article, “the deadly Covid-19 is often a nosocomial infection that people get stuck in the hospital. The virus can also be devastating to those living in nursing homes: in several European countries about half of all deaths come from such facilities.

But the disproportionate number of deaths in areas such as Bergamo, Italy, and Queens, New York, is largely due to the fact that a large percentage of medical staff became infected, which transmitted the coronavirus to already ill patients (with another condition).

“Our leaders must continue to follow their science-based approach and not be afraid to communicate their latest findings to the public,” he said, adding that “the end of the lockdown should not mean the beginning of a period of mass surveillance.” either by testing or unreliable antibody testing for immunity certificates. ”

On the other hand, however, “careful lifting of the lockdown should not be seen as an attempt to boost the herd’s immunity – an inconsistent strategy for an infection that so easily infects hospitals and nursing homes.”

Professor Ioannidis regularly recommends tests in hospitals and nursing homes, and advises the public to avoid hospitals if they have Covid-19 symptoms, unless someone feels very ill.

“The further relaxation of the lockdown,” he added, “can be shaped by a careful assessment of how the epidemic and the availability of hospital beds are evolving.”

“Certainly Covid-19 is a new virus and there is still a lot to learn. But all the latest data and data point in a favorable direction. “Based on all we know about the virus, those responsible for policy-making can move on to the next phase and begin to put an end to the lockdown,” the Sunday report concluded. Times.



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