HOUSTON — The VERIFY team has gotten plenty of questions recently about the flu after hearing rumor that more people died from the flu in recent years than from COVID-19. We found out, that is not true.
As the number of people infected with coronavirus continues to rise, so are people’s curiosity.
Jennifer wrote the VERIFY team, “How many people have gotten the flu this season? We're not hearing about these numbers like we usually do.”
Fred wrote, “(I heard) COVID-19 is less lethal than the last two flu seasons. Is this true?”
Our source for this is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC uses the National Center for Health Statistics to track causes of deaths.
The CDC estimates 34,200 people died from influenza during the 2018-2019 flu season; 61,000 the year before (2017-2018). So far, more than 318,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. The CDC estimates 133,200 people died from influenza during the last three flu seasons. That’s less than half the number of people who have died in the U.S. this year from COVID-19.
The latest surveillance data, during the week ending Dec. 12, shows of the 2,897 deaths reported, 1,921 were related to COVID-19. Only two were from influenza.
So, we can VERIFY that the claim that COVID-19 is less lethal than the last two flu seasons is false.