Is Covid more deadly and contagious than seasonal flu? | David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters

Behind the numbers: the short answer is yes, and scientists still have much to learn about it

Covid-19 and influenza are both respiratory diseases, but there are important differences, which statistics can help us understand.

First, Sars-CoV-2 is more infectious than seasonal flu. We’re used to hearing about the reproduction number R, the average number of people whom someone with the virus will infect. In a population without immunity and policies such as social distancing, R for Sars-CoV-2 is now estimated to be around 3. New mutations have raised R further.

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