Covid-19 Science

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

Is SARS-CoV-2 more contagious than the flu?

By Juergen Ude : 14th February 2021

Experts at the onset of the pandemic went out of their way to conclude that SARS-CoV-2 is more infectious than the flu. This is even though it was known the flu can spread in the air, whilst SARS-CoV-2 cannot. Actually, this statement has now been shown to be wrong, demonstrating the soft science conclusions are by the nature of soft science unreliable.

As of the 31st of December 2020, there are 85 million reported cases worldwide.

Let us put some perspective on what appears to be ‘huge’ numbers and are causing panic.

The USA according to the CDC estimates 9 to 45 million illnesses due to the flu virus annually and the USA is 4% of the world’s population. These are symptomatic cases because they are illnesses.

If the global infections are proportional to population size, then one can say that the total annual global flu infections are 225 million to 1.1 billion. Of course, the global infections are unlikely to be directly proportional to the USA infections, and hence the estimate is only an insight, not a precise fact.

Another estimate can be obtained as follows. According to Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness that is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Approximately 9% (702,000,00) of the world’s population is affected annually, with up to 1 billion infections. This supports the basic naïve calculation based on projecting the US case infections.

The world does not go paranoid over 0.7 to 1 billion flu infections each year and yet has daily nervous breakdowns, over a relatively tiny number of infections which 85 million for 2020. There are other diseases also. In 2018 there were 228 million cases of malaria. 272000 children died of Malaria in 2018 according to the WHO. These are children under 5 years old.

The common cold infects over 62 million people in the USA each year and far more globally. 85 million for Covid-19 is not unusual, especially when considering that SARS-CoV-2 is of the same family as some common cold viruses.

We can argue that the COVID figures are under lockdown and strong social distancing and without it there would be far greater infections and cases. That is not true. Lockdown was never designed to reduce infections only to flatten the curve over a long time periods for hospitals to cope. Lockdown did not reduce infections, only dragged them on, buying time for mutation.

We can also argue that the flu cases are with vaccination.

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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.