Balancing flu risks vs. coronavirus

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Source: Purdue

An additional 2,000 Americans — 10 of them children — have died from the flu since the last reporting period, according to the weekly flu report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The surveillance report for the week ending Feb. 1 shows flu activity increased in many reporting areas. In addition, the report shows 22 million Americans have suffered from the flu, and that 12,000 adults and 78 children have died during this flu season, which began in October.

While coronavirus has dominated much of the conversation, that vigilance should be balanced with the understanding that influenza is more prevalent and much more likely to impact Americans, says Libby Richards, an associate professor of nursing in Purdue’s School of Nursing.

Thirteen people have been diagnosed in the U.S. with coronavirus and the CDC has identified 318 negative and 68 pending cases, as of Feb. 11. Travel bans have been in effect, with the federal government coordinating evacuation of Americans from China. Once stateside, the evacuees are quarantined for at least 14 days and must show no signs or symptoms of illness before release.

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