Covid-19 Science

The science behind the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic

Is SARS-CoV-2 deadlier than the flu?

By Juergen Ude : 14th February 2021

We cannot reliably compare because the flu is grossly under reported, which is compensated for with model predictions, which cannot be trusted because all models are wrong.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/faq.htm#deaths

“Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has been recognized for many years that influenza is underreported on death certificates and patients aren’t always tested for seasonal influenza infection, particularly the elderly who are at greatest risk of seasonal influenza complications and death. Some deaths – particularly among the elderly – are associated with secondary complications of influenza (including bacterial pneumonias). Influenza virus infection may not be identified in many instances because influenza virus is only detectable for a short period of time and/or many people don’t seek medical care until after the first few days of acute illness. For these and other reasons, statistical modelling strategies have been used to estimate seasonal flu-related deaths for many decades. Only counting deaths where influenza was included on a death certificate would be a gross underestimation of seasonal influenza’s true impact.”

Additionally, Covid-19 reported deaths are meaningless because of the way deaths are defined.

The following are some historic estimates of flu pandemics which did not result in the destruction of the global economy to the same extent as now.

According to https://www.medscape.com/answers/219557-3460/what-are-the-mortality-rates-associated-with-influenza

  • ***The 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic caused 500,000-700,000 deaths in the United States—almost 200,000 of them in October 1918 alone—and an estimated 30-40 million deaths worldwide, mostly among people aged 15-35 years. If we had that damage, why don’t we take precautions and lock down with any new swine flu? The initial wave was not that harmful, but the second was. We cannot be sure that the next swine flu will not kill that many again. Vaccines are not that reliable.
  • The 1957 H2N2 influenza pandemic (Asian flu) caused an estimated 70,000 deaths in the United States and 1-2 million fatalities worldwide.
  • The 1968 H3N2 influenza pandemic (Hong Kong flu) caused an estimated 34,000 deaths in the United States and 700,000 to 1 million fatalities worldwide.
  • In 2009 – 2010 the swine flu resulted in attributable excess mortality world-wide of 100,000 to 400000. Children and young people were predominantly affected. This begs the question, which is the deadlier a virus that predominantly kills the older generation (In Australia 76% above 80, most from age care, with comorbidities, or a virus which attacks young people who are healthy without comorbidities? Some countries have taken away liberties of those over 65. Should we not also take away liberties of 20 to 35-year-olds each time there is a swine flu outbreak. We cannot be sure it will not be deadly.

During 2020 there have been 1.8 million globally reported COVID-19 deaths. That is of course higher than all the above pandemics, other than the 1918 pandemic. However, there is no science in concluding the Flu is less deadly. As the CDC said Flu deaths are estimated not recorded, at least in the USA. Covid-19 deaths for many countries are died with Covid-19 not died from Covid-19. Hence we conclude there is no evidence that one is worse than the other.

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* The information is dependent on the reliability of the information sources. Links have been given throughout for the reader to verify the contents. There has been no use of models made to prove points. Readers can download data from https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-testing and perform the analysis independently. Many charts use our own technology to display underlying trends and scatter. More information on our technology please visit https://www.bisnetanalyst.com/knowledge-center

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Juergen Ude has a certificate in applied chemistry, a degree in applied science majoring in statistics and operations research as top student, a masters in economics with high distinctions in every subject, and a PhD in computer modelling and algorithms. He has lectured at Monash University on subjects of data analysis, computer modelling, and quality & reliability.

Prior to founding his own company (Qtech International Pty Ltd), Dr Ude worked as a statistician and operations researcher for 18 years in management roles having saved employers millions of dollars through his AI and ML algorithms. Through Qtech International, Dr Ude has developed data analysis solutions in over 40 countries for leading corporations such as Alcoa, Black and Decker, Coca-Cola Amatil, US Vision and many more. Additionally he has developed campaign analysis software for politicians.