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If you’ve watched the news in the last four months, you know most of it is dominated by news about COVID-19. From death rates to case numbers to long-term side effects, there is no shortage of news about how deadly the virus can be. But what about other causes of death?

During the summertime, a spike in motor vehicle deaths occurs, but we haven’t heard much about that this year. Flu, cancer and other deaths may be overshadowed due to the current pandemic. But that doesn’t mean we should exercise less vigilance.

Flu Season

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates put flu season deaths from Oct. 2019 to April 2020 between 24,000 and 62,000. During the 2017-2018 flu season (one of the worst on record in recent years) more than 44 million people were estimated to have the flu and more than 60,000 people died.

Top Causes of Death

I’ve had conversations with many people who think coronavirus isn’t serious because it has killed fewer people than other causes of death, like heart attacks, cancer and car accidents, but is that really true?

The answer is tricky: Yes and no.

Data from February 1 to June 27, 2020 show the top causes of death in the United States are:

  1. Heart Disease: 302,785 deaths
  2. Cancer: 264,898 deaths
  3. COVID-19: 129,570 deaths
  4. Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease: 70,513 deaths
  5. Stroke: 69,503 deaths
  6. Alzheimer Disease: 58,926 deaths
  7. Diabetes: 43,552 deaths
  8. Flu/Pneumonia: 27,847
  9. Septicemia: 17,364

COVID-19 deaths are now estimated to be over 154,000 and growing everyday, meaning if you compare coronavirus to the top 10 deaths in the U.S. in 2018, it is already in the No. 5 spot with five more months of the year left to go. It’s unlikely, however the COVID-19 will pass Cancer and Heart disease, which kill roughly 600,000 people each year in the U.S.