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DES MOINES, Iowa — Nearly twice as many people have died in Iowa from COVID-19 versus influenza this season, according to information compiled from the state department of public health. And the COVID-19 deaths occurred in less than a fourth of the time.

The department of public health reported the first deaths from influenza on November 15, 2019. Two women died. One was a woman between the ages of 61-80 who lived in central Iowa. The other woman was over the age of 80 and lived in northeast Iowa. The department reported that both women had underlying health issues.

The department reported the first COVID-19 death on March 24, a Dubuque resident who was between the ages of 61-80.

Many experts believe COVID-19 is more lethal than the seasonal flu and there is no known vaccine yet to prevent it or minimize its impact on a person.

Here is the breakdown:


  • November 15, 2019: First reported influenza death
  • Days since then: 170
  • Total deaths: 96


  • March 24, 2020: First reported COVID-19 death
  • Days since then: 40
  • Total deaths: 184