Medical Experts Believe Influenza Is Deadlier Than The Novel Coronavirus


  • There are already five confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S.
  • Medical experts believe influenza is deadlier than the coronavirus
  • Influenza could cause 61,000 deaths in the U.S.

Despite the growing number of cases of the novel coronavirus in different parts of the world, medical experts warned that influenza is still a far more dangerous disease. According to the experts, the flu virus poses a deadlier threat to the U.S. than the coronavirus.

The first suspected cases of the novel coronavirus appeared last month in Wuhan, which is in the Hubei province of China. Since then, the virus has found its way to other countries. As of this writing, there are already five confirmed cases of the infectious disease in the U.S.

Although the coronavirus should be taken seriously due to its potential to cause pneumonia, medical experts believe there is another disease that’s far deadlier than the virus from China. According to Dr. William Schaffner of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the coronavirus pales in comparison to influenza.

“When we think about the relative danger of this new coronavirus and influenza, there’s just no comparison,” he said, according to USA Today. “Coronavirus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison. The risk is trivial.”

As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza has already infected over 13 million individuals in the U.S. last winter. This has led to 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,000 deaths. The CDC believes these numbers will increase once the flu season peaks this year, which could cause a death rate of up to 61,000.

Despite the dangerous nature of influenza, most people are no longer as afraid of it as they should be because they are very familiar with its nature. As noted by Schaffner, people tend to fear diseases that come from foreign places because they are more exotic and mysterious.

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“Familiarity breeds indifference,” he explained. “Because it’s new, it’s mysterious and comes from an exotic place, the coronavirus creates anxiety.”

“We should rename influenza; call it XZ-47 virus, or something scarier,” Dr. Paul Offit of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said.

Due to the dangerous nature of influenza, medical experts urged the importance of getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Novel Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus has already given rise to 41 pneumonia-like cases and one death in China Photo: AFP / Noel Celis

International Business Times

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