The NY Times does piece on the comparison and points to actual numbers which show that the Flu has been and is more dangerous….
THAT isn’t stopping the media frenzy or easing people and governments fears and actions….
Is this new coronavirus really a serious danger? Doesn’t the flu kill more people?
As the United States recorded its first coronavirus death on Saturday — and as other cases popped up in people without known risks on the West Coast — Americans wondered how to measure this new threat against a more familiar foe: influenza.
President Trump, a self-described germophobe, said on Wednesday he was amazed to learn that tens of thousands of Americans died from the flu each year, contrasting that number with the 60 or so known to be infected with the coronavirus. On Friday, Mr. Trump accused the news media and Democrats of exaggerating the dangers of the virus.
“The flu kills people,” Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said on Wednesday. “This is not Ebola. It’s not SARS, it’s not MERS. It’s not a death sentence.”
To many public health officials, that argument misses the point.
Yes, the flu is terrible — that’s exactly why scientists don’t want another contagious respiratory disease to take root. If they could stop the seasonal flu, they would. But there may yet be a chance to stop the coronavirus.
In many ways, the flu is the best argument for throwing everything at the coronavirus. Here’s a closer look at the similarities and differences.
Which virus is deadlier?
The coronavirus seems to be more deadly than the flu — so far.
On average, seasonal flu strains kill about 0.1 percent of people who become infected. The 1918 flu had an unusually high fatality rate, around 2 percent. Because it was so contagious, that flu killed tens of millions of people.
Early estimates of the coronavirus death rate from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, have been around 2 percent. But a new report on 1,099 cases from many parts of China, published on Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine, finds a lower rate: 1.4 percent.
The coronavirus death rate may be even lower, if — as most experts suspect — there are many mild or symptom-free cases that have not been detected.
The true death rate could turn out to be similar to that of a severe seasonal flu, below 1 percent, according to an editorial published in the journal by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But even a disease with a relatively low death rate can take a huge toll if enormous numbers of people catch it. As of Sunday, there were about 87,000 coronavirus cases and 3,000 deaths. This week, for the first time, the number of new cases outside China exceeded the number within the country…..