Oklahoma physicians dispute claims that COVID-19 is just another flu-like virus

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TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma physicians are fighting back against the common claim that COVID-19 is just another influenza-like virus.

Dr. George Monks with the Oklahoma Medical Association said Tuesday people are throwing out the common misconception that the coronavirus is just another virus as an excuse to not wear a mask and take other precautions when the data shows, COVID-19 is ten times deadlier than the flu.

“In Oklahoma, we have about 85 average flu deaths a year,” Monks said. “With COVID ever since this thing began we are now to almost 1,800 people. That’s not flu-like numbers.”

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Dec. 1, 2020 - Dr. George Monks with the Oklahoma Medical Association said Tuesday people are throwing out the common misconception that the coronavirus is just another virus as an excuse to not wear a mask and take other precautions when the data shows, COVID-19 is ten times deadlier than the flu.
Dec. 1, 2020 - Dr. George Monks with the Oklahoma Medical Association said Tuesday people are throwing out the common misconception that the coronavirus is just another virus as an excuse to not wear a mask and take other precautions when the data shows, COVID-19 is ten times deadlier than the flu. (FOX23)

Monks said while the one percent mortality rate for COVID-19 may seem small to the average person, it’s actually a larger number than influenza’s mortality rate in any given year.

Physicians from across Oklahoma in a news conference with reporters said Tuesday believing COVID-19 is similar to the flu is dangerous thinking and indicates a misunderstanding of how viruses differ from each other.

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Posted by FOX23 News on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

When asked by FOX23 News about antibodies, Monks said people need to understand that COVID-19 antibodies are only at their strongest for three-to-four months after someone has fought off the virus. While antibodies may still be in a person’s system well after that, it’s possible someone could get re-infected with a strand of the virus and get sick all over again.

There are six strands of COVID-19 considered to be part of this current pandemic, and if someone gets sick with one, he said, it’s not clear just how immune they could be to the other five.

“It’s important for everyone, even those recovered, to still do things to slow and mitigate infection,” Monks said.