While half of the world has been affected by the coronavirus that lately emerged from China, Americans are still at a higher risk of flu and not coronavirus.
Americans are using facial masks at almost all public places and the majority of them have canceled their international trips fearing coronavirus outbreak. However, flu remains to be a more deadly virus in the USA than coronavirus or any other viral disease.
Flu or influenza virus spreads from person to person contact and shows symptoms like runny nose, congestion, cough and a high fever. Notwithstanding, unlike coronavirus, it has caused thousands of death in the USA till the date.
Brandon Brown, an epidemiologist from the University of California says;
“Here in the U.S., this is what is killing us?” “Why should we be afraid of something that has not killed people here in this country?”
Just to remind, coronavirus strain 2019-nCoV has recently has caused a huge public health threat in China and it continues to spread worldwide.
More than 50 million people in China are affected by this coronavirus outbreak. Last weak, the World Health Organization declared this Chinese originated disease as a “global health emergency,” and U.S. officials have advised all US citizens to avoid traveling to China. Some of the American airlines have even canceled their flights to China fearing coronavirus outbreak.
The US is evacuating its citizens from China and ordered them to be on a two-week quarantine. This includes nearly 195 Americans who have recently flown from Wuhan to the US.
So far, there are only six confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. All of these had a common link i.e. traveling to China.
By comparing influenza and coronavirus; the influenza virus has taken 211 lives this flu season only in California that included 7 underage kids. October is the time when the typical “flu season” begins and these figures show that health officials should not ignore influenza-related deaths while looking for coronavirus treatment.
If not treated, flu can cause fatal health conditions that include heart failure and pneumonia eventually leading to death. Still, the flu virus has not caught public attention like coronavirus despite causing so many deaths. This new mysterious coronavirus has created panic, anxiety, and alertness in the common public as well as health officials in the USA.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 19 million people in the United States to be affected by flu this year.
It is common to see people wearing face masks, as the supposed protection against coronavirus, especially at subway stations. It shows that US citizens think that they are at risk of this mysterious virus, however not all of these people think the same way for the flu virus.
“This is something I guess we’re used to so we don’t really pay attention to it much.” “I think we need to shift our attention back to the flu.”
CDC has not recommended people to use masks in the USA. But people tend to wear it as a self-precaution against the coronavirus, and other respiratory illness.
US health officials share that people become immune from the flu virus and even vaccinated people are still at risk of getting affected. Dr. Shira Doron works at Tufts Medical Center infectious disease. She says:
“Get your flu shot—take measures to prevent getting sick with the many things in this country we have to get sick from.” “The likelihood of an American being killed by the flu compared to being killed by the coronavirus is probably approaching infinity.”
Coronavirus has taken nearly 250 deaths till now, still, health departments from various countries are learning about who is at the highest risk of coronavirus. On the other side, it is clear that the influenza virus puts older patients and kids at the highest risk.
The only way is to get control over influenza-related deaths is to get most people vaccinated. The medical experts believe that coronavirus would eventually find a treatment and vaccine soon. It is not a big concern in the USA, at least not now, so the flu virus needs more attention in the US.
To get protection against flu and coronavirus outbreak, it is necessary to follow good personal hygiene; wash hands frequently, avoid touching surfaces in public; avoid meeting people who are affected and work on individual immunity.