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article imageFlu season in the U.S. is far worse than coronavirus

By Karen Graham     Feb 8, 2020 in Health
While much of the world's attention has been focused on the Wuhan coronavirus, flu activity continued to increase and remains high in the United States, according to a new update by the CDC.
News reports have been focused on the Wuhan coronavirus and its spread around the globe. The number of people infected with the virus has risen lo more than 34,800 people globally. China has 722 deaths and 34,546 confirmed cases of the virus on the mainland, according to the Associated Press.
And yes, this is worrisome for health officials worldwide. But here in the United States, the Flu virus is far worse than the new coronavirus - with the number of cases rising sharply in the past two weeks, according to new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is after dramatic drops in flu activity during the first two weeks of 2020.
The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 22 million flu illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths from flu. The number of pediatric deaths has jumped to 78 so far this season.
Influenza A and influenza B strains are approximately equal for the season overall, the CDC said, but in recent weeks there has been an increase in influenza A. Influenza B is most commonly reported in babies, young children, and young adults up to age 24. Influenza A is most commonly reported among people 25 to 64 and 65 and older.
2019-20 Influenza Season Week 5 ending Feb 01  2020
2019-20 Influenza Season Week 5 ending Feb 01, 2020
"We seem to have another double-barreled flu season," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, reports CNN News.
"B was big early on and now it is being equal with H1N1 and that's interesting. Both can be a real problem for children and young adults and that is kind of curious, that is not normal at all. Usually, we have one that predominates."
The bottom line is this - Dr. Scott Weisenberg, a clinical associate professor of medicine and director of NYU Langone Health’s travel medicine program says: Influenza “remains a dangerous virus every single year." He adds that Americans have simply gotten used to influenza despite the staggering number of people it affects.
Looking at the two virus threats - coronavirus or flu virus - The better-known flu virus is a far greater threat to Americans’ health right now, based on data from the CDC.
More about Flu season, CDC, coronavirus, 78 children, 12 thousand deaths
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