According to estimates published today from the CDC, between 291,000 and 646,000 people around the globe die from seasonal influenza and related respiratory illness each year. This is a new number as 60 countries are cooperating in a study that has adjusted previous estimates of between 250,000 and 500,000. The new estimates use more recent and complete data.
The poorest nations, and mostly older adults are those hit hardest by the flu. The CDC has helped more than 60 countries build surveillence and laboratory capacity to detect threats and help control the flu virus. This study underscores the underestimation of the threat of the flu virus and with the recent events in China, help us understand that there are many new flu-type or coronaviruses that are a threat to an evermobile population that travels from New York, to Hong Kong to 100 other countries each day.
Keep in mind that over 1,100 flight leave Hong Kong each day, to a total of 220 destinations. This explains the rapid spread.