Coronavirus in Perspective

“As health care experts and world leaders struggle with the spread of the new corona virus (COVID-19) — an infectious respiratory illness like influenza (flu) but caused by a different virus–it merits noting how widespread influenza is in the United States and globally, and how many people die from the flu each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 45 million cases of the flu in the United States during the 2017-2018 influenza season. Among those cases, 810,000 people had to be hospitalized. During that season, 61,000 people died from the flu. Globally, about 1 billion people get the flu, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. And the CDC reports that ‘between 291,000 and 646,000 people worldwide die from seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year.’ As of Feb. 25, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there were 80,239 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 34 countries. The WHO also reported that there have been 2,700 deaths from COVID-19. As of Feb. 25, there were 54 COVID-19 cases in the United States but no deaths reported.”

“U.S. Flu Season 2017-18,”, Feb. 20, 2020