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Flu vs Coronavirus: Tracking the Numbers

Flu vs Coronavirus: Tracking the Numbers

The Corona Virus continues to dominate global news reporting. Increasing case numbers of  COVID-19 make the headlines every day. But what about the seasonal flu?

Seasonal flu causes millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of deaths per year across America. In 2018, federal officials stated that flu season was the deadliest in 10 years. And in 2019, officials called that flu season the longest in over a decade.

At the time of this publication, the CDC confirmed 1,152,372 cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 67,456 deaths, of which 3 are pediatric. That means the death rate is 5.85% of confirmed cases.

By comparison, the CDC estimates between 39-56 million flu illnesses so far this season, with 410,000-740,000 hospitalizations and as many as 62,000 deaths from the flu virus, of which 170 are pediatric. That means the death rate is 0.11%-0.15% of estimated cases.

The CDC estimated the burden of illness during the 2018-2019 flu season included 35.5 million illnesses, with 34,200 deaths from October 2018-May 2019. Estimates from the season prior were much higher with 61,000 flu related deaths.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic during the second week of March. But it was not the first such declaration from the organization.

In June 2009, H1N1, better known as the swine flu, was also declared a pandemic. H1N1 was a unique combination of Influenza A viruses never seen before in humans or animals. The H1N1 virus quickly spread globally. Within one year, from April 2009, swine flu caused nearly 61 million illnesses, 273,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the United States. In October 2009, the U.S. began administering an approved H1N1 vaccine and the pandemic was declared over on August 10, 2010.

Last week, the World Health Organization hosted World Immunization Week. Celebrated each year, the campaign urges greater engagement in the use of vaccines worldwide to protect people of all ages against diseases, including influenza.

A vaccine has not yet been developed for COVID-19 and there is no approved treatment to date. Getting the flu shot remains your best defense against the flu.

Midland Health has the experience, stability and knowledge your group will need to implement a professional on-site flu clinic. In most cases our flu shot services are covered by Medicare. With skilled technicians nationwide, we address the unique needs of an organization with multiple locations across the United States. To host your company flu shot clinic, click here for your free quote. We are also now taking infrared temperatures on employees before starting their shift. For details, call 414-378-2436 and ask for Jo.