As the coro­n­avirus spreads across the globe, media outlets have focused their attention on the little-known disease. 

The 2019 Novel coro­n­avirus, a strand of coro­n­avirus related to SARS and MERS, has infected more than 24,000 people around the world as of Wednesday, killing nearly 500. Twelve res­i­dents in the United States have fallen ill. 

Because the coro­n­avirus is new, and the World Health Orga­ni­zation declared it a crisis on Jan. 30, it’s right to receive some media attention. But the media is ignoring another health crisis, one that strikes around the world annually and killed more than 60,000 people in the United States last year alone: the flu. 

Along with the political doings of Pres­ident Donald Trump and his impeachment trial, coro­n­avirus has flooded the news cycle. But with all of these events, we shouldn’t just look at the number of stories in the media, but instead look at the numbers in the media’s stories. 

Cer­tainly, the coro­n­avirus has proven to be dan­gerous, even lethal. It’s spreading rapidly around the globe, affecting not only Southeast Asia but also North America and many coun­tries across Europe. People every­where should take the nec­essary pre­cau­tions to protect them­selves and others — starting with washing hands often and staying home when one feels ill. 

In last week’s Influenza Sur­veil­lance Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Pre­vention reported that 19 million Amer­icans have fallen ill with the flu this season, sending 180,000 to the hos­pital and killing 10,000. That’s 20 times more deaths than coro­n­avirus — and that number just includes those who’ve died in the United States. 

The numbers show that we should be much more con­cerned about the flu than coro­n­avirus. And we should def­i­nitely wash our hands. 

Coro­n­avirus is spreading, and the media is right to cover it. But even when the media covers the facts, it might not always tell the whole truth. The facts the media chooses to focus on can skew the per­ception of the truth.