Analysis: At what point could Covid-19 be reasonably compared to a cold or flu?

Covid-19’s levels of fatality far exceed flu, but Omicron’s reduced severity combined with boosters and the arrival of antiviral pills may change that

‘Weekly Omicron deaths would also need to fall significantly further from the total of 599 Covid-19 deaths recorded since early November to come below Ireland’s peak of 200 confirmed flu deaths in Irish hospitals in the winter season of 2017/18.’ Picture: Getty

What is the line of demarcation for when Covid-19 could reasonably be compared to cold or flu?

That would depend on their comparative severity. Daily case numbers for cold and flu are unknown.

But HPSC data on influenza’s mortality rates show that Covid-19 is nowhere near the low levels of fatality for flu yet.

In 2009 to 2019, the 10 years before the pandemic began, a total of 604 deaths from influenza in hospitals were ...