The flu is responsible for significantly more deaths than the COVID-19 virus, so why are Americans on the brink of panic? The news reports on the chaos the Coronavirus is staging throughout the world, and states have declared emergency actions to be undertaken, including travel restrictions and cancellations of college classes in areas of Washington State, California and New York.
[CBS News] reported that the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the U.S. but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided a grim reminder of the toll that the flu has taken on Americans. According to the CDC, about 20,000 people including 136 children have died of the flu this season. Hospitalization rates among children aged 4 and under were the highest on record at this point in flu season exceeding reported rates in the 20099 H1N1 pandemic. The CDC estimated that approximately 34 million people have gotten the flu so far this season and approximately 350,000 have been hospitalized.
Higher number of deaths related to flu.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has surpassed 500. The new COVID-19 disease was blamed for at least 24 deaths in the U.S. as of Monday — a fraction of the more than 3,800 victims listed worldwide in figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and a fraction of American deaths caused by the flu. The CDC reported that this year’s flu vaccines have been extremely effective with “Almost all (>99%) of the influenza viruses tested this season are susceptible to the four FDA-approved influenza antiviral medications recommended for use in the U.S. this season,” the CDC said on its website.
Flu versus COVID-19.
Children have been the worst sufferers of flu this season as the strain has shifted from influenza A to influenza B, which affects children more as seen in the 1992-93 flu season. In comparison, the Coronavirus seems to be attacking older people, or people who have an underlying medical condition that would make them more susceptible.
Economic impacts continue.
As global markets continue to tank, with Wall Street trading halted after the Dow Jones Industrial Average dove more than 2000 points, and as at least 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia reporting infections of the novel coronavirus, President Donald Trump on Monday doubled down on downplaying the crisis, blaming the news media and the Democratic Party for hyping the outbreak and repeating the risk is still “low to the average American.” Later, about an hour after the markets plunged, Trump continued to engage in a confused narrative about the crisis, downplaying the situation and often putting him at odds with the messaging his own health experts are trying to get across.
Cautious action to be taken.
While the threat of COVID-19 is real, other viruses continue to cause more deaths in the United States to date. However, because American healthcare professionals do not know much about the virus, it continues to be unsettling and has been reported in such a way that the average American is being cautious about what they should be doing to avoid catching it. Some argue that President Trump is right to downplay the risks of the virus to reduce the spread of fear and chaos negatively impacting the economy, and interrupting daily life in America. Presently, it is still a watch and see kind of scenario until CDC officials learn more about the virus. The federal and state governments are taking action to protect the citizens and individuals should do their part to limit activities to potential exposure and risks. Proper hand-washing and self-quarantine actions are easy to undertake and may go a long way to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.