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Symptoms of influenza, with fever and cough the most common symptoms. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Perspective on Influenza and the Coronavirus

The 2018-2019 flu season, lasting 21 weeks, 61,200 died

By Katy Grimes, March 12, 2020 7:08 pm

So far this year, there have been at least 9.7 million cases of the flu (influenza), at least 87,000 flu-related hospitalization, and up to 12,000 deaths, according to the CDC.

 

The California Department of Public Health is so busy right now reacting to the Coronavirus, they haven’t updated their website on the seasonal influenza – how many have contracted it, how many hospitalized, and how many deaths. The most recent report is from Week 9 of the seasonal flu: February 23, 2020 – February 29, 2020.

Currently, or at least since February 29th, 516 California residents have died. See the image below.

While California politicians and the news media are hysterical over the coronavirus, it’s as if the annual seasonal flu has been pushed to the back seat. Yet it’s the seasonal flu which is so deadly nearly every year. And this year, 2019-2020 flu season, the flu vaccination is only 47% effective.

The CDC reports today there are 1,215 total cases of Coronavirus in the United States, and a total of 36 deaths – the average age of which is 80.

So far this year, there have been at least 9.7 million cases of the flu (influenza), at least 87,000 flu-related hospitalization, and up to 12,000 deaths, according to the CDC.

As California Globe reported this week:

According to the Center for Disease Control, the 2018-2019 flu season, lasting 21 weeks, was the longest in a decade; 61,200 died, 647,000 people were hospitalized. The CDC says that is on par with a typical flu season.

In 2018, nearly 80,000 Americans died of nasty flu, the kind that more people end up in the hospital with. It caused more deaths, particularly among young children and the elderly.

In recent years, flu-related deaths have ranged from about 12,000 to — in the worst year — 56,000, according to the CDC, prior to 2018.

 

Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses
Weekly Report. (Photo: California Influenza Surveillance Program, CA Dept. of Public Health)

President Trump has taken appropriate and decisive action to control the spread of coronavirus in the United States, including signing an $8.3 billion spending bill, Trump Regional Communications Director Samantha Zager reports. “Of that money, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $560 million to help state and local efforts to fight coronavirus, including over $37.7 million for California.”

The media-created panic is doing a lot of damage, while most media ignore the actual annual devastation of influenza.

Healthline reported:

“Since mid-December, influenza activity has really ramped up,” said Marie-Louise Landry, MD, a Yale Medicine infectious disease expert and the director of the Yale Clinical Virology Laboratory. “All four influenza strains are circulating, but so far A/H1 and B/Victoria have been more common.”

Another article from Healthday titled, “There’s a Virus Spreading in U.S. That’s Killed 10,000: The Flu,” reported in early February:

“Influenza has already taken the lives of 10,000 Americans this season, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 19 million have caught the flu, and an estimated 180,000 became so ill they landed in the hospital.”

“Influenza is easier to pick up and there are far, far more cases,” said Dr. Alan Taege, an infectious disease physician at the Cleveland Clinic. “It’s already much larger than coronavirus has been so far in the whole world, in our own country alone.”

“The H1N1 strain of influenza first appeared in 2009, and that year there were between 151,700 and 575,400 deaths caused by the new strain, Camins said.”

“That’s why there’s a new flu vaccine every year. Influenza is constantly mutating in a Darwinian attempt to become more infectious, and public health officials have to scramble to stay one step ahead.”

“On the other hand, there are a multitude of different coronaviruses but less than a handful have proven deadly, Taege noted.”

It’s important to take these viruses seriously however, it’s equally important to not overreact. And wash your hands!

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