We might finally know how deadly the coronavirus is compared to the flu
SCIENCE
July 22, 20203 min read, 626 words

We might finally know how deadly the coronavirus is compared to the fluWe might finally know how deadly the coronavirus is compared to the flu

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Published: July 22, 2020  |  3 min read, 626 words
The novel coronavirus seemed like it might be a variation of the flu in the early days of the Wuhan epidemic. The more the virus spread and the more we learned about the pathogen, it became more apparent that COVID-19 isn’t anything like the flu. Not only does it spread a lot eas...
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public reviews: 3

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Credible
July 27, 2020
Studies that haven't been peer-reviewed like the one mentioned in the article are called "preprints". Personally I don't think news should be allowed to cite preprints as sources. However, I wanted to give some info in regards to other's critiques of the study. The website the study is on is medRxiv (apparently pronounced "med-archive" which is such a dumb name you know a scientist came up with it). MedRxiv is an archive site for research preprints. Yes, it looks super generic. Most research websites look like this for some reason, you can checkout PubMed as another example of terrible website design in the sciences. MedRxiv is collaboration between a non-profit research institute and Yale University. So there could be other issues with the website, but the website isn't a completely random unknown generic site is what I'm getting at. Next, the news article did a bad job of explaining what it was reporting on, but I think there is a misunderstanding of what the news article and preprint study are saying. This news article isn't citing 26 different studies. It's citing just the one study, but that study is a "meta-analysis" of 26 different studies, so that they can get a more broad and hopefully accurate analysis of data that has already been collected. Lastly, the preprint study does include attributions and references. However, because of the screwed up way scientific research is structured right now you have to pay a journal for access to the full research paper. So website's like MedRxiv can only print the paper's abstract. If you purchase the full research paper you can see their citations, attributions, and references at the bottom of the paper. Fortunately, almost all COVID-19 related research has been made free and publicly available for public health reasons. So you can see the full research paper here: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.03.20089854v1.full.pdf
July 27, 2020
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Well Sourced
July 27, 2020
Admittedly, I did not dive into the study/studies cited in this article, but I felt that the article tried not to take a definitive position and leaned into sourcing instead. I’m glad the article didn’t take a definitive position because the true mortality rate, as alluded to in the piece, cannot be known.
July 27, 2020
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Science Misrepresented
July 25, 2020
Article asserts a 0.68% mortality rate, as primary evidence it references "various studies" but then immediately pivots to only including supporting data from one single study. Clicking thru to this "study" reveals a completely generic website with no attribution, references, or any ability to verify the stats. In addition, that website itself warns against using its mortality data to compare to other disease mortality rates since (by its own admission) the Covid mortality rates are not final. Bottom line, article leads with a narrative and cherry picks extremely unreliable data to back up that narrative. Some would consider this the definition of misinformation, but I'll just chalk it up to lazy journalism.
July 25, 2020
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