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Underestimating Flu Mortality

 
 
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2020 03:17 pm
This graph shows CDC estimates for how many deaths have actually been caused by the flu, yet not reported as such on death certificates.

If the flu is really so much deadlier than we assume, then why don't we also expect more viruses to evolve to fill the gap left by all those viruses that have been stopped by the flu shot vaccine in recent years?

Do we assume that we can control all the viruses that can possibly emerge, evolve, and spread before they can be included in the flu shot vaccine, or are most people aware that there will be plenty of other viruses but they get the flu shot anyway to at least be vaccinated against some of them?

Furthermore, if we realize that we can't stop viruses like the flu or COVID19 because there will always be more, should we consider maintaining social-distancing and minimizing going out in public indefinitely, or do we think that it's ok to 'return to normal,' once COVID19 is under control?

In short, if we're not threatened by COVID19, the flu, or some other new infection; won't there be something else to avoid? If so, why not permanently adapt instead of just taking temporary precautions because of COVID19?

https://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-AX653D_NUMBG_NS_20090512230421.gif
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livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2020 03:55 pm
@livinglava,
The issue here is whether we should do more to address risks that are generally just dismissed because they are seen as 'normal.'

The flu is such a risk, as is the threat of car crashes, exposure to environmental pollution, etc.

If we can successfully social distance and quarantine for COVID19, why not do more all the time instead of always minimizing risks just because they are 'normal?'

We can and should put effort toward living more carefully, so why not re-arrange our priorities even after the spotlight on COVID19 has faded?
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2020 10:51 pm
@livinglava,
livinglava wrote:

The issue here is whether we should do more to address risks that are generally just dismissed because they are seen as 'normal.'

The flu is such a risk, as is the threat of car crashes, exposure to environmental pollution, etc.

If we can successfully social distance and quarantine for COVID19, why not do more all the time instead of always minimizing risks just because they are 'normal?'

We can and should put effort toward living more carefully, so why not re-arrange our priorities even after the spotlight on COVID19 has faded?


More carefully at all times in all things what a boring if perhaps longer lifespan.
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maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2020 05:43 am
This is a ridiculous thread. But I will lay down the facts for you.

1. People do take the flu seriously. The way to stop the flu from spreading is to get the flu vaccine. You have doubtless heard the CDC messaging that you should get your flu shot. Doctors are imploring people to get their flu shot each year. There are hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year to prevent a flu epidemic.

2. This Corona virus has the real potential to kill 2.2 million people in the US this year (if left unchecked). That is a lot more deaths than the flu.

3. Right now, hospitals are filling beyond capacity from the corona virus, and there is a risk of running out of ventilators. We don't see this with the normal flu. The biggest thread we are seeing is to the health care system. Health care workers are horrified that they might need a ventilator for their patient and not have one. Doctors and nurses are working double shifts, and health workers are being called from retirement.

4. The Corona virus is spreading (and deaths are rising) at a far greater rate than the normal flu. (I would ask you to do the math, but I know you don't do math).

5. In other countries where Corona virus has hit faster, the numbers of deaths have far exceed deaths from the flu. The US is following the same curve.


livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2020 07:30 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

1. People do take the flu seriously. The way to stop the flu from spreading is to get the flu vaccine. You have doubtless heard the CDC messaging that you should get your flu shot. Doctors are imploring people to get their flu shot each year. There are hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year to prevent a flu epidemic.

I don't get the flu shot because I think it gives new and rarer pathogens breeding ground by freeing up tissues that would otherwise be populated by normal flu viruses.

The flu is not that bad for most people, and for the people that are dying from it, there should be more work done to figure out why their immune systems are weakened and what they can do to boost immunity.

For some people there may be nothing more to do for them than to vaccinate, but if people can get their own immune systems up to a level where they can deal with normally non-lethal pathogens themselves, that is ultimately better for their health.

Quote:
2. This Corona virus has the real potential to kill 2.2 million people in the US this year (if left unchecked). That is a lot more deaths than the flu.

I'm done listening to your coronaphobic alarmism. You are pushing coronaphobia to the point of meltdown. It's a real risk, so you should be discussing it rationally instead of uncritically maximizing it every time you mention it.

Quote:
3. Right now, hospitals are filling beyond capacity from the corona virus, and there is a risk of running out of ventilators. We don't see this with the normal flu. The biggest thread we are seeing is to the health care system. Health care workers are horrified that they might need a ventilator for their patient and not have one. Doctors and nurses are working double shifts, and health workers are being called from retirement.

It is impossible to distinguish currently how much of the demand for things like ventilators and masks is due to people trying to manipulate market activity. The stock markets crashed and many people feel the Federal stimulus was inadequate, so there are going to be people who translate their disappointment into exaggeration of health fears, i.e. because there is widespread confusion in differentiating between economic threats and health threats. People confuse the life-threats of economic problems with the life-threats of health problems.

What's more the high costs of health care are used as a form of stimulus spending; e.g. have you noticed public debates over whether ventilators should cost $20,000 or $50,000? Such debates are about balance sheet politics, and people are exaggerating health threats to weigh in on what they want to see on balance sheets for the sake of their wallets.

Quote:
4. The Corona virus is spreading (and deaths are rising) at a far greater rate than the normal flu. (I would ask you to do the math, but I know you don't do math).

You do the math; how much can people manipulate budgets by exaggerate health threats and how much is it worth paying them to do so in order to get the extra sales/investments on expensive ventilators and masks?

Quote:
5. In other countries where Corona virus has hit faster, the numbers of deaths have far exceed deaths from the flu. The US is following the same curve.

I wonder if you would be so confident in your assumptions and predictions if there were penalties for being wrong.

Remember the boy who cried wolf.
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