Hong Kong (CNN)As the novel coronavirus began spreading around the world this year, one common refrain from skeptics of the emergency measures being put in place to stop the outbreak was that it was just like the flu — dangerous to sensitive groups but routine and not something to get into lockdown over. We now know that assessment is wrong. At its lowest estimated fatality rate based on current data, Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is thought to kill some 1-2% of known patients, compared to around 0.1% for winter influenza. The coronavirus also appears to be about as infectious as the flu, and potentially more so, especially as there are no specific treatment, cure or seasonal vaccine. There is one area in which experts hope the virus will still behave like influenza, however, by tapering off in spring. “This is a respiratory virus and they always give us trouble during cold weather, for obvious reasons,” Nelson Michael, a leading US military medical researcher, said of the novel coronavirus last week. “We’re all inside, the windows are closed, etcetera, so we typically call that the influenza or the flu season.”Influenza thrives in cold and dry conditions, which is


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