Many people have been comparing coronavirus Covid-19 and its symptoms to the flu.
Worryingly, this has resulted in many people thinking it’s not too bad, with some even saying they don’t mind if they get it.
Intensive care specialist Professor High Montgomery has explained why this really isn’t the case, and the staggering difference between the two illness.
The main difference – and what makes it so much more dangerous – is it is far more contagious.
Speaking to Channel 4, he explains that if he was to get the normal flu he would infect an average of 1.3 people.
If they then go on to do the same, each of them infects 1.3 people. Do that 10 times, and he’s responsible for 14 cases of the flu.
However, this strain of coronavirus – Covid-19 – is much more infectious.
That means that if he was to get it, he would pass it to three people, and they would in turn pass it to another three.
He said: “Not that doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but each of those three passes it onto another three and that happens at ten layers, I have been responsibly for infecting 59,000 people.”
Professor Montgomery goes on to explain why, despite some people’s attitudes, it’s so much worse than feeling a bit rough.
He said: “Most people are going to feel a bit pokey, or not very pokey, and feel just fine – but they will have spread it around.
“A few will get sick at about 10 days into their illness, so they will need to come to hospital.”
“When they are in hospital they will consume resources and time and people will look after them, quite rightly, and they will be monitored to see if they become really, really sick.
He explains that if people become very ill they will be moved to an intensive care unit.
“This is the issue. If we’ve got a limit resource, which we have, a limited number of ventilators, a limited number of doctors, a limited number of nurses, if we overwhelm that, we can’t provide that service of caring for people properly.”
He goes on to stress the point even further that it’s vital that everybody does their bit to stop the spread.
He says: “It’s going to be ugly, it’s going to be horrible for a large number of people – but it will be a small number of people who get properly sick and a smaller percentage of those again that need to come to an intensive care unit.
“We can save the lives of a large number of those people.
“But remember, the best chance we can give to the people who do fall ill is if we’ve got enough beds and enough staff and enough kit to be able to be there for you.
“If you are irresponsible enough to think that you don’t mind if you get the flu, remember it’s not about you – it’s about everybody else.”