How Does the New Disease Compare With the Flu?

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How Does the New Disease Compare With the Flu?
As new cases appear on the West Coast, some - including the president - are comparing it to the seasonal flu. Here's a close look at the differences. Is this new coronavirus really a serious danger? Doesn't the flu kill more people?


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The New Virus and The Flu

According to health officials, tens of thousands of Americans die from the flu each year, while the new virus has far less infected. 

But the new virus may, in fact, be deadlier, and th...


Contagious And Hidden

  • The new virus is contagious, with a high reproduction rate.
  • The people who aren't displaying any outside symptoms are also contagious, making the new virus difficult or even imp...


No Cure So Far

Older people and those with weak immunity are more susceptible to the virus. Children, who get infected severely by the flu are only showing mild or no symptoms to the new virus.

Flu infects...


Virus Woes

  • Just like the flu, people can become immune to the new virus after recovery, but that immunity can wane.
  • There is no approved antiviral drug or any vaccination for the virus, but sev...



The new virus

They are a group of viruses that cause respiratory infections, including the common cold.
They can infect certain animals and spread from one animal to another. They can reach t...

The symptoms

Common symptoms: coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. Non-respiratory symptoms (feeling nauseous, vomiting having diarrhea) were also reported.
The virus is more violent with the elderly, the very young and with individuals that have a weak immune system. The majority of those infected however recover after a few days.

Spreading the virus

Coughs or sneezes from an infected person are the most likely to spread the virus. So it's essential to follow basic hygiene rules:

  • Wash your hand often during the day.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your inner elbow or a napkin.
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
  • Stay inside if you have any of the symptoms and avoid interacting with people that show signs of the infection as well.

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We know what it is

Unlike the AIDs virus that took more than two years to identify, the new virus took only ten days. We know:

  • It is a new virus from group 2B
  • Genetic...

We know how to detect the virus

A test to detect the virus has been available since January 13.

The situation is improving in China

For several weeks now, the number of cases diagnosed daily is dropping.

From a very detailed epidemiological follow-up in other countries, we know outbreaks are very specific to areas and can be controlled easier.

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Spreading of diseases

Transmissible diseases existed during humankind’s hunter-gatherer days, but the shift to agrarian life 10,000 years ago created communities that made epidemics more possible.
We started build...

430 B.C.: Plague of Athens

The earliest recorded pandemic happened during the Peloponnesian War. It passed through Libya, Ethiopia, and Egypt,  and it reached Athens as the Spartans laid siege. Two-thirds of the population died.
The disease, suspected to have been typhoid fever, weakened the Athenians significantly and played a big role in their defeat by the Spartans.

165 A.D.: The Antonine Plague

It may have been an early appearance of smallpox that began with the Huns.
The Huns then infected the Germans, who passed it to the Romans and then returning troops spread it throughout the Roman empire.  This plague continued until about 180 A.D., claiming Emperor Marcus Aurelius as one of its victims.

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