Nobody shuts down whole countries for seasonal influenza, despite the death rate and contagion potential. What’s different about Covid19?
by Martin Harris
Until recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the annual mortality burden of influenza to be 250 000 to 500 000 all-cause deaths globally; however, a 2017 study indicated a substantially higher mortality burden, at 290 000-650 000 influenza-associated deaths from respiratory causes alone, and a 2019 study estimated 99 000-200 000 deaths from lower respiratory tract infections directly caused by influenza. Here we revisit global and regional estimates of influenza mortality burden and explore mortality trends over time and geography.Global mortality associated with seasonal influenza epidemics: New burden estimates and predictors from the GLaMOR Project (Link)
5 Million Cases Worldwide, 650,000 Deaths Annually: The Seasonal Flu Virus is a “Serious Concern”, But the Wuhan Coronavirus Grabs the Headlines
The common flu virus will infect millions across the globe. It can be easily spread and will especially strike the young and the elderly. But this is not what has been described as the Wuhan virus. The common flu is far deadlier. This is not to downplay the Wuhan coronavirus flu, or to give it its medical name, 2019-nCoV.
The common flu causes up to 5 million cases of severe illness worldwide and kills up to 650,000 people every year, according to the World Health Organization
The initial symptoms of coronavirus are typically similar to those of a cold or flu, which means it is hard for people to know if they are infected, especially given that the outbreak has coincided with flu season. The mayor of Wuhan said on Sunday evening that he expected another 1,000 or so new cases. But the National Health Commission in Beijing said the number of people currently under medical observation for the virus is 30,453. This raises immediate questions about how and where they are being observed.Coronavirus Outbreak, a Global Public Health Emergency?
WHO comparison of Influenza to Covid19 (click header to view)
What about Italy?
Italy: At least 3 million affected by influenza nationwide January 15
The Italian Higher Health Institute (ISS) has recorded 3 million cases of flu since October 2019, as of Wednesday, January 15. Between January 6 and January 12, an estimated 374,000 individuals were diagnosed with influenza. The Piedmont, Lombardy, Liguria, Umbria, and Lazio regions remain the most affected areas. Public health officials have advised that all eligible individuals should receive a vaccine.
Further spread of the virus is possible in the coming weeks and months.
Influenza is a contagious virus that can spread from human to human. Symptoms include high fever, aching muscles, headache, and respiratory issues. Particularly vulnerable individuals include young children, the elderly, pregnant women, the obese, and individuals suffering from chronic diseases. An annual vaccine is available.
Individuals in Italy are advised to take preventive measures to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading communicable diseases (e.g. wash hands thoroughly and frequently, avoid contact with sick individuals, etc.), and consult a medical professional regarding influenza vaccination options.
So, nobody went into a screaming panic about the regular ‘flu, did they? Personally I don’t do the influenza vaccine anyhow. No doubt many Uncensored readers don’t either. Influenza strains do the round every year. People get sick from it and the susceptible, sadly, die from it. Nothing new here. So why the paranoia? Why the utterly insane toilet paper hoarding? Why the flight cancellations and closed borders and whole countries going into “lockdown”? Look at Italy’s influenza figures: No lockdown for the ‘flu, but Coronavirus? That’s a different matter. Why?
Wake up people, and start asking questions. What’s it really about?