There are many questions that people have about why the entire world has come to a halt over the COVID 19 virus, including the comparison of coronavirus to the season flu.

COVID 19 Incident Commander with the Missoula City County Health Department, Cindy Farr tackled that question in her daily You Tube/Facebook video.

“COVID 19 is a completely new virus,” said Farr. “What that means is that our population is what is considered to be ‘naïve’, and that means as a population we don’t have an immunity to this virus and that means anyone can get it, and since we don’t have people who are immune in our community then the usual roadblocks to stop the spread of the disease aren’t there which is what makes it easier to spread.”

Farr then made another serious comparison between the two viruses.

“Here’s the biggest and most concerning difference between COVID 19 and the flu,” she said. “While 80 percent of COVID illnesses are relatively mild, 15 percent are considered severe and five percent are considered critical. The rate of severe and critical illness from COVID 19 to date that we know of based on the date that we have so far are much higher than what we expect from influenza.”

Farr then quoted statistics from the World Health Organization concerning COVID 19.

“The World Health Organization currently estimates that the mortality rate for COVID 19 is between three and four percent,” said Farr. “That compares to point one percent for seasonal flu. That’s a big difference. It’s significantly higher than what we see for seasonal flu. Lastly, the big complication is that there are no vaccines or FDA approved treatments for COVID 19.”

Farr and the Missoula City County Health Department produce a daily video update about the virus and its effect on the community.