Medical experts warned that there is another disease that's far deadlier than the novel coronavirus from China. According to experts, this disease is capable of causing a high death toll.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in December in Wuhan, which is located in China's Hubei province. Within weeks, the number of suspected cases in China increased and eventually reached other countries. As of this writing, confirmed cases of coronavirus have been detected in Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and the United States.
Why Influenza is deadlier than the Coronavirus
Although the coronavirus should be taken seriously due to its potential to cause pneumonia, medical experts believe there is another disease that's far deadlier than the virus from China. According to Dr. William Schaffner of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the coronavirus pales in comparison to influenza, also known as the flu.
"When we think about the relative danger of this new coronavirus and influenza, there's just no comparison," he said according to USA Today. "Coronavirus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison. The risk is trivial."
As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza has already infected over 13 million individuals in the US last winter. This has led to 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,000 deaths. The CDC believes these numbers will increase once the flu season peaks this year, which could cause a death rate of up to 61,000.
Why people are no longer afraid of Influenza
Despite the dangerous nature of influenza, most people are no longer as afraid of it as they should be because they are very familiar with it. As noted by Schaffner, people tend to fear diseases that come from foreign places because they are more exotic and mysterious. "Familiarity breeds indifference," he explained. "Because it's new, it's mysterious and comes from an exotic place, the coronavirus creates anxiety."
"We should rename influenza; call it XZ-47 virus, or something scarier," Dr. Paul Offit of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia said. Due to the dangerous nature of influenza, medical experts urged the importance of getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of the disease.