COVID-19: the pandemic that has nearly brought the world to a complete stop. It has shut down schools, businesses, and most normal parts of daily life. As the world starts to reopen, many in the United States are left wondering if the shut down was an overreaction.
In order to understand the severity of COVID-19, using information from the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) website, below is a comparison of COVID-19 to the 2018-19 seasonal flu, and the Influenza pandemics of 1918, 1957, 1968 and 2009.
As of June 21 there is 2,248,029 total coronavirus cases in the United States and 119,615 total deaths. So far the day with the most reported new cases in the United States was April 6 with 43,438 new cases.
The CDC estimates that the burden of illness in the United States during the 2018–2019 influenza season included an estimated 35.5 million people getting sick with the flu, and 34,200 deaths from it.
“The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history,” according to the CDC website. It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be about 675,000 in the United States out of at least 50 million worldwide.
In 1957, a new influenza A (H2N2) virus emerged in East Asia, triggering a pandemic (“Asian Flu”). The estimated number of deaths was 1.1 million worldwide and 116,000 in the United States.
The 1968 pandemic was caused by an influenza A (H3N2) virus. The estimated number of deaths was 1 million worldwide and about 100,000 in the United States.
In the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic, from April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases and 12,469 deaths in the United States. Additionally, CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died from the virus infection during the first year the virus circulated.
Ranked in order of deadliest flu in the U.S.:
1. 1918 (675,000)
2. COVID-19 (119,615)
3. 1957 (116,000)
4. 1968 (100,000)
5. 2018-19 seasonal flu (34,200)
6. 2009 (12,469)