There are a lot of stories out there regarding the coronavirus. A fair amount on social media. And some folks are sharing some outright untruths. And scams.

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Centers For Disease Control

2019-ncov-factsheet

World Health Organization

And isn't the flu a bigger problem? Doesn't it have a higher mortality rate?

For all the attention and headlines that Covid-19 is getting, folks seemed to have forgotten or put the flu on the back burner.

Although the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can look similar, the two illnesses are caused by different viruses. (John Hopkins Medicine)

Differences: COVID-19 and the Flu

Cause

COVID-19: Caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus, now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.

Flu: Caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.

Transmission

While both the flu and COVID-19 may be transmitted in similar ways (see the Similarities section above), there is also a possible difference: COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route, meaning that tiny droplets remaining in the air could cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer near.

Vaccine

COVID-19: No vaccine is available at this time, though it is in progress.

Flu: A vaccine is available and effective to prevent some of the most dangerous types or to reduce the severity of the flu.

Infections

COVID-19: Approximately 92,818 cases worldwide; 118 cases in the U.S. as of Mar. 4, 2020.

Flu: Estimated 1 billion cases worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year.

Deaths

COVID-19: Approximately 3,254 deaths reported worldwide; 11 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 4, 2020.

Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. Since this is a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu. (John Hopkins Medicine)

2019-ncov-factsheet