The new coronavirus, COVID-19, has infected 90,000 people worldwide and killed 3,000. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the 32 million Americans who have caught the flu, also called influenza, this year, and the 18,000 who have died. But there’s a reason that health officials and government authorities are shaking in their boots about the coronavirus. It’s way more lethal than the regular flu.
The New York Times reported that influenza kills about 0.1% of those who become ill. Now the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the coronavirus kills 3.4% of those who become infected, or 34 times the fatality rate of the flu. Put another way, if the flu were as deadly as the coronavirus, almost 700,000 Americans would be dead from the disease just this year alone, more than double the number of Americans killed in WWI.
As the new virus makes its way around the world, we can expect rising death tolls to follow.