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Senior Advisor

Influenza statistics, just saying.

There has been a lot of talk comparing Corvid-19 mortality to influenza mortality.  People are using numbers like 24,000 flu deaths per year and 40,000,000 flu-caused illnesses.  It turns out that that number isn't a solid number at all.  For example, the CDC reported the follow actual numbers for annual deaths directly attributed to influenza.

year deaths due to flu
2013 566 wk 40-52
2014 6170  
2015 6175  
2016 3698  
2017 8135  
2018 14510  
2019 7479  
2020 5540 wk 1-12


You can see that the worst year, 2018 only had 14,510 actual solid numbers for an estimated 39-55 million flu illnesses.

Part of this is due to the fact that influenza isn't a reportable cause of death.  They arrive at the 24,000 by making some assumptions and complicated calculations.

That's not to say that there aren't very substantial deaths due to pneumonia every year as a complication of flu but that's not quite the same thing.  Remember, with Corvid19, it's the coronavirus that killing people, not pneumonia.  The virus itself is causing massive organ failure. That's a big difference.

  In that light, the common flu is much much less dangerous than this coronavirus.

  Another thing to keep in mind, deaths due to flu, even if you use the 24,000 number, it takes place over a flu season that is five months long.  That's only 5,000 per month.  In contrast, Corvid-19 is going to directly kill at least 100,000 people in little over a month's time.  That's an enormous difference.

PS: corrected text above by removing the word "weekly" and replaced it with "annual". 

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11 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: Influenza statistics, just saying.

good Post on the stats rickgthf.

Things are reaching suppression W the corona. 

In china new cases are low to none now. 

Even though the USA media is sensationalizng corona as pearl harbor this week..  Well see. 

Bet corona will be in suppression most Everywhere by Mid May. 

And in suppression in a lot of places by end of April too. 

It's the Warmer outside temps now that help suppress the virus. 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Influenza statistics, just saying.


It will also be true that US Covid-19 deaths are likely overstated.  In cases where Covid-19 was assumed, but never specifically tested, it is often being listed as the cause of death.  In other cases, where there were other causes of death, yet the patient tested positive for Covid-19, Covid-19 is still being listed in many cases.  This can also be true for a "regular flu" virus that caused the death of an elderly person, yet Covid-19 was assumed and not tested.

From the National Vital Statistics System, "Should “COVID-19” be reported on the death certificate only with a confirmed test?  COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death." [emphasis added]

I'm not sure who benefits from overstating the number of deaths actually caused by Covid-19.

And, it will also be true that US Covid-19 "cases" are understated.  This is due to selective testing of only those where a test was requested by an individual, to clearly identify the cause for someone with complex symptoms, or otherwise requested or ordered by a physician, HHS or CDC.  There are many, perhaps even totaling more than the officially verified cases, who have never been tested, yet present no symptoms or less severe symptoms, yet actually have or had Covid-19, and are recovering or have recovered.

I'm not sure who benefits from understating the actual number of individuals who contracted Covid-19.

So, while Covid-19 appears to be more easily transmissible and deadly (at least for the elderly and those with pre-existing heart or lung problems) than the "regular flu" viruses, our statistics are certainly not accurate nor reliable at this point.  The actual eventual Covid-19 death rate (deaths actually caused by the verified virus, divided by TOTAL who contracted the virus) might really be quite similar to the "regular flu".  

And yes, I've read that the CDC does not track actual "regular flu" cases, total annual cases and deaths are estimated.

From Oct 1, 2019 thru Mar 28, 2020 -- CDC estimates for "regular flu" in US --

 - 39,000,000 to 55,000,000 illnesses

- 18,000,000 to 26,000,000 medical visits

- 400,000 to 730,000 hospitalizations

- 24,000 to 63,000 deaths

And, those are in addition to Covid-19, although Covid-19 could easily be getting blamed for some of these now, especially due to earlier testing problems or lack of testing.


Senior Contributor

Re: Influenza statistics, just saying.

I don’t understand why anyone would believe anything coming out of China,whether it is information put out by one of their officials directly or a news article broadcast to the public by some other countries news org. You simply can’t trust the current leadership to tell the truth about anything unless it benefits them. So people wake up and don’t claim to know what is actually going on over there.  

Honored Advisor

Re: Influenza statistics, just saying.

I quizz everyone I talk to about this stuff these days if they`ve "known anyone that has died from the common flu" and they haven`t and I haven`t either in 50+ years of paying attention and going to funerals.  But like all deaths are basically "heart failure" when you think about it.  The common flu brings on pneumonia, so pneumonia gets the blame for the "heart failure" that causes the death. Pneumonia has been referred to as "the old man`s friend" at times.

Reporting each new case of Covid and each new death of Covid is a thinly veiled political statement, only a small step from clips of a unfavored politician saying "it`s just like the common flu" and then the "Buck stops here" memes come out.  These death tally threads are political.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Influenza statistics, just saying.

Covid-19 does cause pneumonia, however Covid has the best press agent money can buy CNN MSDNC ect.  And somehow where a common flu caused pneumonia death and the death certificate cause of death "pneumonia", Covid-19`s press agent will make sure that the "star" Covid gets top billing "cause of death: Covid-19"  not the ultimate pneumonia.   


March 26 (UPI) -- The COVID-19 pandemic started in Wuhan, China, as a cluster of unusually severe pneumonia cases of unknown cause. Now that the disease has spread globally, the lungs continue to bear the brunt of the infection in humans -- just as they do with conventional pneumonia.

A small study published recently in the journal Academic Radiology found that the new coronavirus impacted both lungs in nearly 80 percent of cases, with the vast majority showing significant injury or inflammation on computed tomography, or CT, scans.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Influenza statistics, just saying.

Anybody care for a third helping of stoopid?


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Honored Advisor

Re: Influenza statistics, just saying.

I see the head waiter is on the job bright and early this morning.  Looking to ask for a raise?    Smiley Happy

Senior Advisor

Re: Influenza statistics, just saying.

Just riding herd on the Cult of Ignorance.

It is my contribution of public service.

I’m also thinking ahead to when the reality based community takes the remote away from Grandpa Ranty. 

Not sure what all to do with the cult though.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Influenza statistics, just saying.

No take backs for people who helped kill thousands of their fellow citizens and wreck the economy.