Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Covid-19 and community mitigation strategies in a pandemic

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 17 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m1066

Read our latest coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Rapid Response:

COVID Burden Strengthening NHS Planning and Preparedness

WHO estimates that seasonal influenza may result in 290,000 to 650,000 deaths each year due to respiratory diseases alone. The estimate does not take into account deaths from other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, which can be influenza-related. The current numbers related to Corona Virus illness are not hugely different. But the diagnostics availability and awareness will be a big influence in our readiness and preparedness for ongoing and future management of viral epidemics and pandemics. Current status will influence Critical Care Capacity, balancing emergency and routine work, and wider impact on community and daily life.

World health Organisation, Influenza, Burden of Disease.

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 2019-2020 Flu Season: Preliminary Burden Estimates

Competing interests: No competing interests

18 March 2020
Ranjit Shail
NHS Consultant Physician
South West London, UK