The Italian Association of Biotechnologists wants to make clear that Covid-19 is not like a flu. To make this even more clear we have compared the available data on flu (season 2018-2019) available here with the Coronavirus data collected until March 15th 2020.
In the season 2018-2019, flu was responsible of 812 cases that required Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospitalization and 205 deaths in a span of 33 weeks (8th October 2018 – 20th May 2019). The peak of ICUs was in week 4 (2019) with 93 cases and the peak of deaths in week 5 (29 deaths).
The data available for SARS-CoV-2 in Italy are on a completely different scale. The epidemic stated in week 9 of 2020, and the week after (10) registered 351 cases in ICUs and 131 deaths. This week (11) there are already 1672 cases in ICUs and 1661 deaths, and the situation is getting critical for the health system of many Italian regions.
The main issue is that for a large number of cases (up to 10%) there is the need for an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospitalization, also for young people, and the therapy requires up to 2-3 weeks before passing the critical phase. This requires a tremendous effort by the health system to guarantee adequate care to all in need, and for such a long time, draining resources also for those with other pathologies.
It is true that most of the deaths are elderly people, but only because the elderly often bear other chronic illnesses and do not tolerate invasive treatments well, but the hospitalization does not spare any age.
So, get ready, assist your country to correctly inform its people and help them to respect the rules to stop the contagion. Do it for yourself, for the people you care, for your fellow citizens, especially the weakest.