Coronavirus vs. Influenza

The Coronavirus is all over the word and seems to be taking the front level of the national news and the media, rightfully so as well. As pretty much everyone knows the virus started in China, whether you believe it is a bio-weapon or you believe it occurred at the seafood market it is clear it started in China. Side note: as someone who has been to China I can strongly believe this did indeed occur at one of those markets.

Chinese Meat Markets

Chinese and other third world countries stack animals on top of animal and feces, urine, blood anything you can think, get transferred from one animal to the next, one species to the next. Some of these are zoonotic viruses and some are not. A zoonotic virus is one that can be spread to humans (, n.d.). So in this case two bats could have two different type of coronaviruses. One could have been able to spreads to humans and one could have had no abilities to cross the species. Through living in close quarters, one of the bats is then infected with both versions of a coronavirus creating this mutated version of the two that humans eventually declare, novel coronavirus. If early reports were indeed true than the same type of equation could have happened but with a snake and a bat mutating the virus.

China coronavirus meat markets and what to do to stop the pandemic
Clink the photo to go to another article about China, coronavirus, and the unsanitary Chinese meat markets

Morality Rates

The world health organization recently stated on twitter that the Coronavirus has roughly a 3.4% mortality rate. However, many people are preaching that the average flu kills more people annually or this is just the common flu, it won’t this year and it is not just the common cold or flu. The common seasonal flu has a mortality rate of lower than 1%. This is considerably lower than the Coronavirus mortality rate of 3.4%

R0 (R-naught)

Additionally the rate of infection of the Coronavirus is also much higher than that of the flu. Jo Craven McGinty of the Wall Street Journal talks about R0 and how that effects a virus or infection. “An R0 of two suggests a single infection will, on average, become two, then four, then eight” (2020). Depending on what source you are looking at the R0 of the coronavirus is anywhere from 2.3 to 5.6. So there is no exactly number currently and there typically is no exact number for any infection rate. However, it is considerably higher than the R0 of 1.3 for the flu. So for every one person that is infected with the seasonal flu, they will then spread it to on average, 1.3 individuals. For the Coronavirus it is still too soon to tell or get a more accurate idea. However, it does appear that each person infected will give it to 2-5 individuals.

Comparing Mortality Rates

Marc Lipsitch a professor of epidemiology at Harvard says the virus “will infect 40-70% of the world-wide population” and will essentially be uncontainable (McGinty, 2020). So if 40 percent of the world’s population is infect that is roughly 3.8 billion people. At an average of .7%, that means the seasonal flu would kill roughly 21 million people if indeed that many people were infected with influenza. With the same number infected by the Coronavirus 129.2 million people are going to be a fatal victim of this outbreak. 

Now let’s look at 70% of the world which is 5.39 billion people with 189,260,000 people dying versus just over 37 million in terms of the seasonal flu. These are not the same and while the number still sounds like a good amount. The seasonal flu simply does not infect nearly that number because of the flu vaccines that are available around the world. Additionally, some individuals have a bit of natural immunity to influenza. This virus is brand new, so therefore there is no immunity out there for any human being and while many tabloids are saying they have a coronavirus vaccine they simple do not. The Center forDisease Control and the World Health Organization both said we as human race are approximately 18 months out from actually having a vaccination that can be given in large quantities to individuals. 

However, the Coronavirus is very similar in terms of the 1918 outbreak of influenza at the time. That was also a strand of a virus that we had not seen in that time. The 1918 outbreak was dubbed “The Spanish Flu” and here is a link to an article comparing the Spanish flu of 1918 and the 2020 Novel-Coronavirus.


This virus has the potential to spread father, spread quicker, infector more individuals, and kill more people than influenza. This virus many experts say cannot be contained and will become a part of our normal lvies much like the flu is now. However, with not having a vaccine for some duration of time, there will be casualties. This is not the end of the world and the sky is not falling but many people with die in all countries around the world from this virus mainly elderly and people with already existing immune disorders.


Aaro, D. (2020, March 4). Coronavirus global death rate at 3.4%, Olympics delay a possibility. (2017, July 14). Zoonotic Diseases

McGinty, J. C. (2020, February 17). How many people might one person with Coronavirus infect?.

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