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COVID-19 patients at higher risk of death, health problems than those with flu

New research — a deep dive into federal data by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System — reveals a clearer distinction between the two contagious viruses: Among hospitalized patients, COVID-19 was associated with an increased need for ventilators, more admissions into intensive care units (ICUs), longer hospital stays and nearly five times the risk of death than faced by those with the flu. And although both illnesses attack the lungs, the analysis showed COVID-19 also can damage other organs. It revealed that COVID-19 was associated with a higher risk of complications such as acute kidney and liver damage, as well as heart disorders, stroke, severe septic shock, low blood pressure, excessive blood clotting and new-onset diabetes.