Influenza Hits US Harder Than Coronavirus

influenza

Coronavirus in the US

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) gaining more of a foothold in the United States officials are attempting to give helpful hints on how to avoid contracting the disease. With two deaths and around 89 confirmed cases, officials are trying to keep people’s anxiety about the illness at bay.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams recommends that people stop buying face masks. Adams warns that an individual may increase their chances of contracting the virus. “Folks who don’t know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot,” Adams claimed during an interview.

How to Keep From Being Sick

People tend to forget that they acquire germs in all sorts of ways. Touching objects (i.e. table tops, toilet flushers, glasses, keyboards, and phones) can transfer germs onto the skin. If one touches their face or eyes, the germs transfer to those places introducing a faster way for the germs to enter the immune system.

It is recommended for everyone to remain healthy that they should wash their hands frequently; avoid touching the mouth, nose, and eyes with unclean hands. Disinfect surfaces like tables, handles, counters, and other high traffic areas. If one must cough or sneeze it is suggested to use a tissue or the inside of the elbow to do so. Using the hand just gathers the germs from one’s expressions.

These helpful hints are also great to keep other infectious diseases down, like for example Influenza (flu) and the common cold. While the COVID-19 virus has effected thousands all over the world, the flu has already claimed 14,000 lives in America so far this season.

Influenza in America

Two-hundred-fifty-thousand people have already been hospitalized due to the flu. More than 26 million Americans have taken ill to symptoms of the flu. The flu season started in October of 2019 with an unusual amount of influenza B cases. Children are more susceptible to this strain as opposed to adults since they have had more of an immune system then they do.

At least 105 children have died due to influenza this season. This is a higher total than any other season in the past decade.

In more recent studies of influenza, this season shows that the second wave of influenza A, featuring the H1N1 strain that has made its way into America.

An infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Dr. Pritish Tosh, made the statement, “This has been an extended season, and we’ve certainly been seeing a lot of hospitalizations… We will likely continue to see high influenza activity for several weeks. I sure hope it doesn’t get much worse.”

What Effect Do Vaccines Have?

Officials are saying that the vaccine for influenza A is quite effective since it matches the strain researchers are seeing to a tee. However, the vaccine for influenza B is less effective due to the vaccine only being a 60 percent match to the strain they are seeing. This being said, the vaccine for influenza B is at least 50 percent effective.

Experts say that the vaccines for influenza appear to provide substantial protection against the major strains. It is recommended to schedule a flu shot since it can help stave off influenza.

Of course if one is sick it is suggested that the person stays home, to avoid getting anyone else ill. Avoid contact with people who may be contagious. If at all possible use telemedicine to avoid spreading the ailment to hospitals and clinics.

In Closing

Yes, the COVID-19 virus is horrible, however; it has been overshadowing deaths caused by influenza in the U.S. People all across America are definitely looking forward to the influenza season to be over with, especially with the coronavirus making its way in.

By Sheena Robertson
Edited by Jeanette Vietti

Sources:

US News: Flu Season That’s Sickened 26 Million May Be at Its Peak
CNN: Second coronavirus death reported in the United States and first case confirmed in New York
CNN: Masks may actually increase your coronavirus risk if worn improperly, surgeon general warns

Image Courtesy of Shibuya246’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

One Response to "Influenza Hits US Harder Than Coronavirus"

  1. Cathy Milne-Ware   March 3, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Great article! Very informative!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.