London: Covid-19 now could be less deadly than flu in the UK, infectious diseases expert Professor Paul Hunter said, although he warned another variant could still change this. According to the Daily Mail, government figures indicate the virus had a mortality rate of around 0.2 percent before the ultra-transmissible strain erupted onto the scene.
But this has since plunged seven-fold to as little as 0.03 percent, meaning it effectively kills just one in every 3,300 people who get infected.
For comparison, seasonal influenza’s infection-fatality rate (IFR) sits between 0.01 and 0.05 per cent, suggesting that the two viruses now pose a similar threat.
Hunter, from the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline it meant that Covid could be even less deadly than the flu. Although, he warned another variant could reverse the progress.
Infections have been on the rise in the UK for a week straight, with the country now averaging 50,000 cases per day compared to around 35,000 on Freedom Day in late February.
Hospitalisations have also been rising and in the South West of England have now eclipsed levels at the height of the Omicron wave.
Professor Robert Dingwall, a former SAGE adviser and sociologist at Nottinham Trent University, said the UK was now seeing a “transition” to a world where Covid was just one more respiratory disease.