COVID has claimed more lives in BC than 10 years of influenza

10x more deaths than flu

Think COVID is no worse than the flu? Think again.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more lives during the past 10 months than 10 years' worth of flu deaths in B.C.

Using data from Statistics Canada, CTV News reports influenza accounted for 874 deaths between 2009 to 2019. That compares to 954 COVID deaths since B.C.'s first coronavirus fatality March 9, at Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

Complications from the flu typically claim a few dozen to 200 deaths a year in the province.

“COVID is a pandemic like we’ve never seen before. This is once in a lifetime event,” UBC pediatrics professor Dr. Ran Goldman told CTV.

“We’re testing everyone for COVID, especially if they’re sick or have symptoms, especially because of the public health connotation. We don’t test everyone for flu," he noted, adding flu numbers are likely underreported.

Alberta has seen a similar ratio of deaths.

“There is essentially no way to confuse an influenza virus, which looks completely different genetically and structurally from coronavirus,” said Craig Jenne at the Cumming School of Medicine.

He said it’s important to fact-check skeptics as anti-mask protests and COVID hoax theories continue.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

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