Flu is deadlier, more widespread than Wuhan, China virus

White House considers ban on China flights amid coronavirus outbreak

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The coronavirus has infected at least eight people in the United States, with Massachusetts confirming the most recent case Saturday. But something more dangerous and much deadlier has been infecting millions of Americans.

“You are much more likely to have influenza,” said Dr. Nora Colburn, an infectious disease physician at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “For a typical Ohioan or American, that would be the bigger concern.”

Not only right now, she said, but every year.

So far, there have been an estimated 19 million cases of flu, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths in the U.S. this influenza season — including 68 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Worldwide, seasonal influenza epidemics cause between 3 million and 5 million severe cases every year and kill up to 650,000 people per year, according to the World Health Organization.

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