Comparing coronavirus to the flu and other respiratory illnesses

Regional News

Epidemiological Comparison of Respiratory Viral Infections (Akiko Iwasaki / Yale University / Biorender)

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NEW HAVEN, Ct. (NEWS10) — As coronavirus fever sweeps households across the Capital Region, a Yale University School of Medicine professor created a simple infographic comparing COVID-19 to other respiratory infections.

Figure created with biorender.com

The chart, by biologist Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, stacks the coronavirus up against SARS, MERS, and the flu. The most striking comparison is between COVID-19 and the influenza virus, which kills far more in the U.S. and around the world each year than coronavirus has so far.

Although the chart has a blind spot for ongoing coronavirus cases, numbers from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can fill in some blanks.

COVID-19 infections

  • Global infected: 167,511
  • U.S. infected: 3,487
  • U.S. deaths: 68

Even with a flu shot, the CDC estimates that 36 million Americans have come down with influenza and 22,000 died from it this flu season.

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