Niagara West MP attracting attention for describing COVID as 'influenza'
Niagara West MP Dean Allison is getting some attention after calling COVID-19 'influenza' on CKTB earlier today.
While Allison was talking to CKTB's Matt Holmes today on new regional dining rules, the Conservative politician raised eyebrows.
"The challenge is how do we move forward when dealing with this influenza, that's probably a discussion for you can I another day, cause that's a big one."
After a few minutes of discussing the restaurant industry, Allison once again made the comment about influenza.
"This is influenza, which means I don't think we can ever find a cure for it."
Holmes corrected Allison by saying "don't say this is influenza, I'll stop you there."
Allison responded by saying
"I'm not saying this isn't serious, this is serious. What I'm saying is that this is something that will continue to exist, this is not something we can eliminate. I don't think we get rid of COVID, it's here to stay." "I'm concerned about COVID. I'm just very worried about small and medium-sized businesses."
Niagara journalists were quick to call out Allison's comments.
Good afternoon Niagara, time for another look at what some local politicians are saying about #COVID19. In this case, Niagara West Tory MP Dean Allison who told @610CKTB host Matt Homes that the novel coronavirus is the flu. This is false. (Fact check thread)— Grant LaFleche (@GrantRants) November 17, 2020
What is the difference between influenza and COVID?
The World Health Organization says the major difference is that COVID-19 causes more severe disease than seasonal influenza because it is a new virus to which no one has immunity.
That means more people are susceptible to infection, and some will suffer severe disease.
"Mortality for COVID-19 appears higher than for influenza, especially seasonal influenza. While the true mortality of COVID-19 will take some time to fully understand, the data we have so far indicate that the crude mortality ratio (the number of reported deaths divided by the reported cases) is between 3-4%, the infection mortality rate (the number of reported deaths divided by the number of infections) will be lower. For seasonal influenza, mortality is usually well below 0.1%. However, mortality is to a large extent determined by access to and quality of health care. "
They are both a similar disease when it comes to symptoms, they both cause respiratory disease, which presents as a wide range of illness from asymptomatic or mild through to severe disease and death.
They both are transmitted by contact, droplets and fomites.