"Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2" by Felipeesquivel20 / CC BY-SA 4.0

COVID-19 has the potential to be as deadly as the 1918 flu

Aug 20, 2020

By Yasemin Saplakoglu

The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to become more deadly than the 1918 flu pandemic, a new study suggests.

Remembered as the deadliest pandemic in recent history, the 1918 influenza pandemic infected one-third of the world’s population and killed at least 50 million people, 675,000 of them in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the time, there were no vaccines and no antibiotics to treat secondary infections that inevitably popped up in flu patients. However, society employed measures like the ones being used today to curb the spread, such as imposing quarantines and endorsing good personal hygiene, according to the CDC.

Over a century later, the world has found itself in the grip of another pandemic, this one caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 — and it’s still not clear just how deadly it is. The virus has now infected at least 22.2 million people and has claimed at least 783,525 lives worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard.

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