Doug Bedell — February 12, 2020, 7:58 am

U.S. Disease Context for the Corona Virus

In Homeland Security provides context for the world’s current disease concern, “We Should Panic about the Flu, Not the Coronavirus.”

“As with most viruses that originate outside America, the public’s interest is only piqued when the virus spreads to America. That is what’s happening now,” Glynn Casker, Managing Editor of In Homeland Security, writes.

“Currently,” however, “there are only five confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States…Yet drugstores are selling out of face masks.”

Influenza is the illness that should be concerning Americans. “More than 80,000 people died from the flu in the 2017-18 U.S. flu season alone; the current flu season has killed 8,200 people in the United States so far. Yet you’ll find those precautionary statistics on the 10th page of your Google search for ‘deadly virus affecting Americans.’ The first page is all about the 2019-nCoV coronavirus.

“‘The flu is just not as new and headline-grabbing because we see it every year,’ said University of Michigan epidemiologist Emily Martin.”

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