Next Natural Disaster Heading for U.S. Soil


In a way it's sneaky to use an alarming headline - but this is not "fake news." This headline is accurate, it's only our perception of events that is a little jaded.

Our traditional adversary, seasonal influenza, is a long-term foe, one that does amazing physical and economic harm as a natural disaster and, at the same time, one we have grown all too used to. Stories of the influenza season run on page 12B, not as front-page news.

As this infographic from the Centers for Disease Control shows, in some years more people die from seasonal influenza than all the motor vehicle deaths, on average, in the same year. The "total economic burden" of $87 billion on average is $33 billion more than the recently proposed increase in the military budget. And that cost, on average, is borne every single year.

The important point here is that while we may not fear the seasonal outbreak of influenza as we fear a "novel virus" in a distant country, it should place us at this time of year on the alert to begin Cleaning for Health practices aimed at reducing its spread.