Coronavirus in Florida: How it stacks up against flu

Coronavirus

HILLSBOROUGH CO., Fla. (WFLA) – Two Tampa Bay counties have seen Florida’s first two confirmed cases of coronavirus. A third “presumptive” case is awaiting official confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control.

But as fears spread, many are calling into question how the virus stacks up against the flu.

Which is more dangerous? How do the symptoms of both stack up? What are the impacts of both illnesses to Floridians?

Symptoms of both include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. But in addition, flu symptoms include sore throat, runny nose and muscle aches.

Statewide, Florida learned of a third “presumptive” case of coronavirus Tuesday afternoon. Cases in the U.S. have now reached 43 in 10 states, with 17 people hospitalized.

Coronavirus in the US

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed 398 people under investigation for the novel coronavirus in 37 states, according to an update posted to the agency’s website on Monday. Hover over the bars to see the numbers.

Source: CDC

Positive influenza tests in the United States totaled 11,249 last week, according to the CDC. In Florida, the flu is on a decline, with only 18 outbreaks – down from 24 in the previous week – according to the Florida Department of Health.

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China on Dec. 31. The World Health Organization reported 73,424 cases of the virus and 1,873 deaths last week.

For both illnesses, preventative action is the same: simply wash your hands frequently. If soap and water isn’t readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Florida’s Department of Health now has a call center for coronavirus surveillance. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms call (866) 779-6121 or email: COVID-19@flhealth.gov between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

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