(USA Features) Figures released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an effort to calm jitters over the coronavirus note that this year’s flu season has been far worse, resulting in thousands of deaths including more children than normal.
According to the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), among the roughly 34 million people who have suffered from the flu this season, 20,000 have died.
Influenza A viruses were the most commonly reported, as opposed to the usual predominance of Influenza B, and there have been 136 recorded deaths of children.
The CDC noted that “rates among school aged children and young adults are higher at this time than in recent seasons and rates among children 0-4 years old are now the highest CDC has on record at this point in the season, surpassing rates reported during the second wave of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.”
According to ABC News, one of many organizations live-tracking the global spread of the virus, only 110,000 people worldwide have been infected with the vast majority of them being in China, where the outbreak originated.
“At least 3,825 people have died so far, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering,” the network reported, citing the most current figures.
Meanwhile, the White House has pushed back against Democrats and media outlets officials say are over-hyping the outbreak.
“Right now we are telling people to act as if this is a severe flu season and wash your hands often,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said to “Fox & Friends” Monday. “If you are elderly or have any ailments or underlying health issues, maybe don’t go to areas where there are big crowds. If you do start to feel sick stay home, don’t go to work.”
She also criticized Democratic critics, noting that it’s time “politicians and the media to stop using this as a tool to politicize things and to scare people. It’s not responsible. This is not the time for this.”