Media Not Really Covering The Flu Amid Ebola Scare

The flu isn't getting as much attention as it has in years past. And Ebola is the likely culprit.

Media Not Really Covering The Flu Amid Ebola Scare
Getty Images / Scott Olson

This time of year, the media is usually filled with coverage of the start of flu season. 

HLN: "After you touch something, hand sanitizer. Before and after."

CRISTINA MUTCHLER VIA CNN: "When using common cold and flu products check the label."

But instead, this year the coverage is all about Ebola. 

DR. SEEMA YASMIN VIA CNN: "It it avery contagious virus, but you have to have direct contact with bodily fluids."

ANDREA TANTAROS VIA FOX NEWS: "I think a lot of people are pretty scared about what's happening even though they're seeing a lot of focus on Dallas."

The deadly virus, of course, should not be taken lightly. But compare it to the flu — a health threat that affects far greater numbers of Americans every year. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the flu or a flu associated complication kills between 3,000 and 49,000 people in the U.S. each year  and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from it.  

Last week, 282 Americans tested positive for the illness and we're not even in peak flu season yet. 

That's compared to the three confirmed Ebola contractions in the U.S. and one death. 

Flu season usually peaks between November and March and the CDC recommends that everyone over 6 moths old get a flu shot. Immunity to the flu usually sets in about two weeks after you get the shot. 

A study by Vanderbilt University found parents were much more likely to get their child immunized if they saw something in the media suggesting they do it, creating a strong link between media coverage and the prevention of child illness and death from the flu. 

Experts believe the flu primarily spreads through bodily fluids spread through coughing, sneezing and talking. Staying away from those who are contagious and lots of hand washing is recommended as a way to avoid the flu during flu season.