Here are several reasons why coronavirus is more dangerous than the flu – and why extra precautions are needed:
And this coronavirus is so new, it's not clear if it would spread in the summer, or by how much. But the fact that it continued to spread in the southern hemisphere during the summer months
suggests that hot weather will not slow down the spread.
Coronavirus has killed at a much faster rate
From October 2019 to early April 2020, influenza killed an estimated 24,000 to 62,000 people in the United States
, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These figures are preliminary, and the CDC said it stopped updating its preliminary estimates for this flu season on April 4.
If 62,000 people died from flu between October 1 and April 4, that means the United States had an average of around 331 flu deaths one day.
In contrast, the coronavirus killed
more than 62,850 people in the United States from the first known death in February
through the end of April.
Then from February 6th to On April 30, an average of more than 739 people per day died of coronavirus in the United States.
Coronavirus can spread for many days without symptoms
With the flu, the incubation period is relatively short. People usually start getting sick one to four days after infection, with Symptoms often appear within two days
, says the CDC.
This means that people who get sick from the flu will know that they are ill very soon and are likely to stay home and avoid contact with others.
But the coronavirus incubation period is about three to 14 days, and "symptoms typically appear within four or five days after exposure," according to Harvard Medical School
"We know that a person with COVID-19 can be contagious 48 to 72 hours before he or she begins to experience symptoms," Harvard experts write. "Emerging research suggests that people may actually be most likely to spread the virus to others within the 48 hours before they start experiencing symptoms."
If true, Harvard said, "this strengthens the case for face masks, physical distance and contact tracing
, all of which can help reduce the risk that someone who is infected, but not yet infectious, unknowingly can infect others. "
It is easy for asymptomatic carriers to infect others, said Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at UCLA's School of Public Health.
"When you talk, you will sometimes spit a little," she said. "You will rub your nose. You will touch your mouth.
You can get a flu vaccine, but not a coronavirus vaccine
Experts say the number of flu deaths could be drastically reduced if more people got the flu. Even if you get the flu vaccine and later get the flu, The symptoms are usually less severe
But with coronavirus there is no alternative to getting a vaccine. At the earliest, it will be months
before a coronavirus vaccine can become publicly available.