No, this video has no reason to compare the COVID-19 to a flu

Non, cette vidéo n’a pas raison de comparer la COVID-19 à une grippe

Anthony Fauci

12 April 2020 4: 00


No, this video has no reason to compare the COVID-19 to a flu

The Detector rumors

Agence Science-Presse


DETECTOR RUMORS / The COVID-19, this is no worse than a flu ? One would have to believe that the matter was settled for weeks, but a video is shared more than 300,000 times, under the pretext of attacking a us expert in epidemics, the back on track. The Detector of rumors has watched the video in response to a request from a reader, Susan.

The author of the video of 7 minutes, a “vlogueur” american, who, under the pseudonym HighImpactVlogs, describes himself as someone who “comments” and “questions the man in the street”, takes it to a text co-authored by immunologist Anthony Fauci, released on march 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Fauci, director of the national Institute of allergy and infectious diseases, is this scientist who, in the past few weeks, is part of the working group of the White House against the coronavirus. He has often appeared on the podium, alongside Donald Trump, but he’s mostly become a black beast of a part of the american right, to the point of receiving threats, having frequently contradicted Trump.

In this text of the NEJM, which is an opinion piece (an ” editorial “) through the review of recent estimates of the mortality rate, Anthony Fauci and colleagues write that this coronavirus may have consequences comparable to a severe seasonal influenza (which has a mortality rate of approximately 0.1%) “. It is on this figure that is bent several times vlogueur: a rate similar to seasonal flu, and ” we farm a country for that “! exclaimed-pointing to the passage close to the screen.

He passes however in silence the rest of the sentence: “… or comparable to an influenza pandemic (similar to 1957 and 1968)”. However, the pandemic of 1957 is 116 000 deaths in the United States only (whereas the general population was two times less numerous than today) and a million deaths around the world.

Check the rate of contagion, not the mortality rate

In addition, the rate of mortality is not the only element to be taken into consideration in assessing the risk posed by a virus. It must stop before to his rate of contagion or “reproductive rate” (called by the experts the factor R0). The estimates on this coronavirus vary for the time of one country to the other, all the data are still fragmentary but they range between 2 and 2.5 people: in other words, each person infected with the coronavirus could infect between 2 and 3 other. It must also be noted that R0 is an average.

It is less worse than the measles, for which the rate of contagion is 12, but this is worse than the seasonal flu, which is close to 1. In comparison, the rate of contagion of the Spanish flu of 1918 is estimated by the world health Organization to 2.2.

Bet online on the 31 march, the video has been viewed more than 350,000 times during its first week of broadcast. At the same time, this same week, the daily number of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States has reached a tipping point that had been achieved until then in any other country.


No, the Covid-19 is not “just a flu”.

Le Soleil

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