Navigation Links
CDC Revises Death Estimates From Flu

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past 30 years, the number of annual flu-related deaths in the United States has ranged from a low of about 3,300 to a high of about 49,000.

This is a revision of the static estimate of 36,000 annual deaths that has been reported consistently for years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The update simply underscores the moving-target nature of influenza -- that there is no average flu season, CDC officials said Thursday.

"We want to point out the incredible variability of influenza seasons," said Dr. David Shay, lead author of a report appearing in the Aug. 27 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the CDC.

"Because of the variability of the flu, we're moving from an average to a range," added Shay, who spoke at a morning news conference.

The new numbers reflect both an expanded time period and different strains of the flu in different years.

"There are at least four factors that affect mortality in any given year: the specific influenza strain, the length of the season, how many people get sick and who gets sick -- whether it's hitting younger or older people differentially," explained Shay, who is a medical officer with the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

The new range of numbers takes into account deaths from the 1976-77 flu season through the 2006-07 season, while the old number only looked at the 1990s, when influenza A (H3N2) was a dominant strain.

The lowest mortality figure cited Thursday occurred during the 1986-87 flu season, while the high came during the 2003-04 season. This translates to 1.4 to 16.7 deaths per 100,000 persons.

When the H3N2 strain of flu was predominant, as it was during the 1990s, there were almost three times more deaths than in seasons when other strains dominated.

"On average, H3N2 is more severe than H1N1 and 'B' influenza seasons," Shay said.

In the 31 seasons reflected in the new numbers, about 90 percent of deaths occurred in adults 65 and older, he said.

This contrasts with what has been seen since mid-2009 with the H1N1 "swine" flu circulating, where younger people and children seem most affected.

And no one knows what will happen this coming flu season.

"We have a vaccination [for H1N1] this year so we may not see much," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "The crystal ball is a little murky."

Added Shay: "Flu deaths are a moving target. The [new] numbers confirm that influenza has a substantial burden on mortality, but that burden can be quite varied."

More information

The CDC has more on the seasonal flu.

SOURCES: Len Horovitz, M.D., pulmonary specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Aug. 26, 2010, teleconference with David Shay, M.D., medical officer, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Aug. 27, 2010, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. A Little Drinking Cuts Death Risk for Older Adults
2. Deaths From Heart Attack Rise With Delays in Care
3. Elevated heart rate over time linked to significant risk of death
4. Wider Waist May Raise Death Risk Later in Life
5. Secularization of suicide meant callous mockery of writers deaths
6. Study links more time spent sitting to higher risk of death
7. Childhood Cancer Survivors at Risk of Premature Death
8. Study finds lifelong doubling in death risk for men who are obese at age 20 years
9. Baseline PSA predicts risk of death from prostate cancer
10. U.S. Cancer Death Rate Keeps Falling: Report
11. Cancer deaths continue to drop
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... PITTSBURGH, Pa. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... the dark poses a problem. Fortunately, an inventor from Austin, Texas, has identified a ... access to medication in darkness or restricted lighting. As such, it eliminates the need ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office ... of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office ... forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids ... sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited ... all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and the loss ... author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six children, ten ... the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier pilot, he ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ... products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... Oct. 10, 2017   West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. ... for injectable drug administration, today shared the results of ... for improving the intradermal administration of polio vaccines. The ... Summit in May 2017 by Dr. Ondrej Mach ... World Health Organization (WHO), and recently published in the ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ROSEMONT, Ill. , Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) ... than opioids – to be used as a ... post-surgical pain. ... relationship, the AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for ... the end of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... Westchester, NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the ... as mandated by certain health insurance regulations. ... The best time to get a flu shot is by the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: