Influenza cases increase, Coronavirus nears pandemic level


Photo by Mikael Häggström, M.D. via Wikimedia Commons

This diagram details the symptoms of COVID-19, which are similar to, but not the same as, the common flu.

Elijah Calip '22, Staff Reporter

The new year started with an immense increase of infections during this winter u season, with in uenza claiming the lives of around 8,200 in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that most of these cases are young adults under the age of 25 and children. The CDC also reported that around 140,000 have been hospitalized.

Furthermore, clinical labs have seen an increase from 23.4 percent to 25.6 percent in respiratory specimens testing positive for the flu in the week ending Jan. 18.

However, the mortality rate throughout that week has seen a decrease from 7.1 percent to 6.7 percent.

The two types of the influenza virus that are infecting young adults and children are Influenza B and Influenza A. Influenza A, or H1N1 is more common with older adults, whereas Influenza B is more common with children.

To prevent the spread of the flu, health professionals advise people to schedule an appointment with their physician to receive the flu shot. Flu vaccinations will reduce the risk of death from the flu, according to a study conducted in 2017. Also, remember to cough into the elbow and to wash hands often, since the u can be transmitted through the air and human contact.

Alongside the flu, a new virus, coming from the Coronavirus family, has caused panic around the world. The new virus was speculated to have originated in a fish market in Wuhan, China where fish and other exotic animals were being sold. This new virus has been shown to be contagious even before symptoms could be seen.

To date, around 60 million people have been quarantined in mainland China in an effort for the Chinese government to prevent the spread of the virus. However, around 50 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China. At least five have been reported in the United States, one being from Los Angeles, California.

No vaccine has been made yet and cases are increasing every day. Gabriel Leung, a founding director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control in Hong Kong, stated in a news release, “This epidemic is growing at quite a fast rate and its accelerating.”

The total confirmed cases have been reported to be 2,744 and a death toll of 80 in mainland China. However, more cases may be reported in the upcoming weeks.