More people have died of Covid in the last month than died of flu in 2018/9 combined 1 month ago

More people have died of Covid in the last month than died of flu in 2018/9 combined

Covid has killed more people in four weeks than the flu did in two years

In the past four weeks, there have been 3,688 covid-related deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive test.

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Across 2018/19, a total of 2,821 deaths in England and Wales from influenza (flu) were recorded by the Office of National Statistics. 

This means covid-19 has killed more people in four weeks than the flu did in two years combined.  

While the figure of 11,000 has been culturally accepted as the benchmark for winter flu deaths, figures from the Office of National Statistics confirm the total number is much lower. 

The larger figure, which totalled 26,342 in 2019, includes statistics on flu and pneumonia. Viruses, bacteria, and fungi can all cause pneumonia and it would be wrong to assume all cases stemmed from the influenza (flu) virus. 

Epidemiologist Dr Deepti Gurdasani said the misconception surrounding flu was “astonishing” 

Speaking to PoliticsJOE, Gurdasani said the overestimation of influenza deaths had been repeated to “normalise the acceptance of tens of thousands of deaths each year, when in fact the ONS clearly shows that it’s between 1000-1500 directly attributable to flu each year.

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“This is a false normalisation narrative, and we shouldn’t accept it”. 

An overestimation of flu deaths has lent itself to a slew of disinformation across social media platforms. 

In October of 2020, a viral Facebook post made comparisons between the number of deaths from flu and the current covid-19 pandemic. 

The block of text cast aspersions on the true scale of the covid-19 pandemic, claiming “a real pandemic would be self-evident” with “bodies piling up on the street”. 

It incorrectly concluded that “the flu killed 64,000 people in this country in 2018, and you didn't bat an eye.”

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The true figure was around 1,500.

Similar myths were peddled at the start of the pandemic by world leaders.

Former President Donald Trump infamously - and falsely - claimed covid is no more dangerous than seasonal flu.

Later, in leaked recordings published by the Washington Post, Trump​ admitted in early February and late March 2020 that he knew covid-19 was more deadly than the flu and that he wanted to play down its severity.

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The urban myth surrounding flu has wreaked havoc in online disinformation forums throughout the covid-19 pandemic.

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