Check: were more deaths from influenza than deaths from COVID-19 this year?

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ST. LOUIS – An A 5 viewer on your side asked our audit team, “Are more flu deaths so far this year than deaths from coronavirus?

For an answer to this question, we checked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Health, and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The CDC is monitoring deaths from the flu. The most recent data show influenza activity for the first week from January to March 21, 2020. During this period, 5,540 people died in the United States from the flu. In contrast, the CDC reported that 12,064 people in our country have died from COVID-19 so far this year.

As a result, nationwide, deaths from influenza are no more than deaths from COVID-19 so far in 2020.

The 5 On Your Side Verify team also searched for local numbers.

Illinois:

The CDC has reported 122 deaths from the flu from January to March 21, 2020.

As of April 6, the Illinois Department of Health has reported 380 deaths from COVID-19.

In the state of Illinois, there were more deaths from COVID-19 than those from the flu in 2020.

Missouri:

The CDC has reported 136 deaths from the flu from January to March 21, 2020.

The Missouri Department of Health reported 53 deaths from COVID-19 as of April 6.

In the state of Missouri, deaths from influenza are more numerous than those due to COVID-19 so far in 2020.

RELATED: Here’s When COVID-19 Could Peak in Missouri and Illinois

But it wasn’t until April.

The gap between these two viruses is expected to grow exponentially.

Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus, showed last week that COVID-19 could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 people in the United States if Americans stay at home and limit their contact with others.

Dr. Birx said that if Americans do not follow social distancing measures, the model predicts between 1.5 and 2.2 million American deaths from COVID-19.

READ MORE: The White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from coronavirus if social distance is maintained

In contrast, the CDC said that the flu kills between 12,000 and 61,000 people each year. So, if Dr. Birx’s modeling is correct, later in 2020, deaths from COVID-19 will far outweigh the flu.

Do you want us to check something? Let us know. You can contact the 5 On Your Side Verify team via Facebook, Twitter or by sending an email to [email protected].

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