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Number Of Flu Cases Per Year

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How To Protect Yourself From The Flu

Flu Cases Are Double Compared To This Time Last Year | NBC Nightly News

If you havent already gotten your flu shot, Dr. Schaffner recommends doing it ASAP, as it takes time to build immunity. Flu season continues through May, after all. Its still not too late to get vaccinated, he says.

The following precautions can also protect you from the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water arent available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces and objects.

Methods that help prevent the spread of COVID-19, like wearing a mask when youre around people who arent in your household and practicing social distancing, can also help you prevent a cold, flu, and other respiratory illnesses. The flus impact on deaths in the U.S. may well be blunted by our behaviors in trying to avoid COVID-19, Dr. Schaffner says.

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Why Can The Flu Be So Deadly

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness thats caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs, the CDC explains. There are two main typesinfluenza A and Bthat regularly circulate each year. While plenty of people get the flu, have a miserable period of illness, and then recover, others can actually die of the virus.

Influenza is a respiratory virus that has the ability to kill at a very high rate, even in the modern era, says infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. In severe cases, it causes pneumonia that can be complicated with a secondary bacterial infection.

Other possible serious complications triggered by the flu, per the CDC, can include:

  • inflammation of the heart
  • inflammation of the brain
  • inflammation of the muscle tissues
  • multi-organ failure

Additional National And International Influenza Surveillance Information

FluView Interactive: FluView includes enhanced web-based interactive applications that can provide dynamic visuals of the influenza data collected and analyzed by CDC. These FluView Interactive applications allow people to create customized, visual interpretations of influenza data, as well as make comparisons across flu seasons, regions, age groups and a variety of other demographics.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Monthly surveillance data on the prevalence of health-related workplace absenteeism among full-time workers in the United States are available from NIOSH.

U.S. State and local influenza surveillance: Select a jurisdiction below to access the latest local influenza information.

state links

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Patients With Uncomplicated Seasonal Influenza:

Patients that are not from a high risk group should be managed with symptomatic treatment and are advised, if symptomatic, to stay home in order to minimize the risk of infecting others in the community. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms of influenza such as fever. Patients should monitor themselves to detect if their condition deteriorates and seek medical attention Patients that are known to be in a group at high risk for developing severe or complicated illness, should be treated with antivirals in addition to symptomatic treatment as soon as possible.

Patients with severe or progressive clinical illness associated with suspected or confirmed influenza virus infection should be treated with antiviral drug as soon as possible.

  • Neuraminidase inhibitors should be prescribed as soon as possible to maximize therapeutic benefits. Administration of the drug should also be considered in patients presenting later in the course of illness.
  • Treatment is recommended for a minimum of 5 days, but can be extended until there is satisfactory clinical improvement.
  • Corticosteroids should not be used routinely, unless indicated for other reasons as it has been associated with prolonged viral clearance, immunosuppression leading to bacterial or fungal superinfection.
  • All currently circulating influenza viruses are resistant to adamantane antiviral drugs , and these are therefore not recommended for monotherapy.

Final Flu Season Metrics 2020/21

Covid deaths three times higher than flu and pneumonia

Each flu season, the CDC tracks a few important metrics that help tell the story of how severe the current flu season is compared to previous seasons. Here are a few numbers to sum up the 2020/2021 flu season, running from October 1, 2020 to April 1, 2021.

Mortality – The PIC mortality rate is the rate of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza, or COVID-19. This year, the majority of PIC deaths were due to COVID-19. 646 deaths were attributed to the flu.

Pediatric Deaths – Pediatric deaths are the number of deaths of people under the age of 18. In 2019/20, there were 195 pediatric deaths. There was one pediatric death during the 2020/21 season.

Flu Season Resource Guide

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Flu Death Statistics Not Collected

In a perfect world, the flu death statistic would be based on an actual count of confirmed deaths after infection with the flu virus. But that’s difficult to do, because autopsies are almost never done, lab tests for the flu virus are rarely done, and someone could die from the complications of flu even though the virus is no longer detectable in their bodies.

The numbers we do have don’t even come close to the computer estimates. In Statistics Canada’s “deaths and mortality” table, under “cause of death: influenza,” there were only about 300 deaths a year between 2000 and 2008. Public health officials don’t trust that number. They believe it underestimates the true death toll from flu.

But Jefferson believes the models overstate the risk from influenza. “There are no real figures on deaths from influenza. They don’t collect that information,” he said. “So if they don’t collect that information, how do they know it’s a threat? And if they don’t collect that information, how do they know that their policies will work? This is called faith-based medicine, not evidence-based medicine.”

“Could the deaths be being caused by other pathogens? It’s an important question,” Dr. Kumanan Wilson told me. He holds the Canada Research Chair in public health policy at the University of Ottawa. He’s also a hospital clinician who has seen many flu seasons.

Breaking Down The Data

As with most topics in epidemiology, interpreting the numbers is complex. The data should be sound before any comparisons can be made. For example, health organizations are collecting data on COVID-19 differently. Should they look at only confirmed cases? Or also probable cases? How do they account for undertesting, especially in the first few months of the pandemic? Or delays in reporting?

Additionally, there are differences in how the numbers are reported. For example, this dashboard reports data collected from various state and county health departments, whereas the CDC uses a different process to confirm deaths before reporting.

But there are other ways to evaluate the numbers. In the spring of this year, this paper found that weekly death counts of COVID-19 were much higher on average 20 times higher than weekly deaths from the last several seasons of the flu at its peak.

Fortunately, weekly deaths from COVID have decreased in recent months. As you can see here, recent weekly deaths in the U.S. are not as high as they were in the spring, which is obviously good news. The decrease in the number of deaths is likely due to better protection of people over 65 years old, earlier diagnosis, and better treatment.

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How Many People Die From The Flu Each Year

The answer is slightly complicated: The CDC doesnt have an exact count of the number of people who die from influenza each year. Instead, the federal agency develops estimates based on rates of confirmed hospitalizations from the flu.

For that reason, its difficult to compare flu deaths with those of COVID-19, which are actual documented deaths, says , associate professor of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York. In fact, COVID-19 deaths are being tracked by confirmed cases, but there are still going to be numbers of unconfirmed cases so the deaths from COVID-19 are probably higher then what is being reported, Dr. Hicar says. So far, nearly 51 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19, resulting in more than more than 803,000 deaths, per the latest data from the CDC.

Compared to the 2019-2020 flu season, for example, the CDC estimated that more than 38 million became sick with influenza, leading to 400,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths. Thats slightly lower than the 2018-2019 season and significantly less than the 2017-2018 season .

National Influenza Viral Surveillance

Doctors expect more flu cases this year

Influenza virus surveillance is carried out throughout the year and has been instituted in Singapore since 1973. We obtained monthly data on influenza A and B viruses and RSV from the WHO-designated National Influenza Centre in Singapore from January 1996 to December 2003. Specimens tested for influenza and RSV were obtained from pediatric inpatients at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, patients from Singapore General Hospital and other public-sector hospitals, as well as from adult outpatients with influenzalike symptoms treated at sentinel primary health clinics. Specimens were tested either with informed consent from patients for diagnostic purposes or as part of epidemiologic surveillance provided for by the Infectious Diseases Act.

The National Influenza Center provided aggregated data for this study, i.e., monthly numbers of total respiratory specimens tested for influenza virus, positive influenza test results, and influenza virus isolates by subtype, as well as monthly RSV data. As the study spanned 8 years, we anticipated that positive results could be affected by changes in the number of tests performed. Therefore, we opted to use the monthly proportion of positive test results for a specific virus as our indicator variable for virus activity, instead of monthly positive counts.

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Keeping Track Of Flu In Minnesota

Many people get sick with flu every year in Minnesota without ever seeing a doctor or reporting their illness. Therefore, MDH uses various indicators to find out how widespread the flu is in Minnesota each week, rather than trying to track every case. The MDH Public Health Laboratory also tests selected influenza specimens to monitor which flu strains are circulating each flu season.

Hospitalized Surveillance

Hospitals report to MDH when they have a patient admitted to the hospital with laboratory-confirmed influenza. Hospitals are asked to submit specimens to MDH-PHL for influenza testing. MDH provides guidance on infection control and outbreak management, including the use of antiviral medication for treatment and prevention.

Sentinel Surveillance

Physicians and health care providers across the state help to monitor influenza throughout the flu season. Sentinel providers fill out a weekly report detailing the number of patients they’ve seen with influenza-like illness. They also submit additional influenza specimens to the MDH Public Health Lab according to the Sentinel Surveillance program guidelines.

Long-Term Care Facility Surveillance

Facilities report to MDH when they have a suspected or laboratory confirmed influenza outbreak. Specimens can be submitted to MDH-PHL for influenza testing. MDH provides guidance on infection control and outbreak management, including the use of antiviral medication for treatment and prevention.

School Surveillance

Influenza Vaccine Efficacy Effectiveness And Impact Explained

There are three general terms that are used to describe how well a vaccine works in any given influenza season: vaccine efficacy, vaccine effectiveness and vaccine impact. This document provides a general explanation of each of these terms as well as information specific to influenza vaccines.

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When Is The Flu Season

The CDC determines the start and end of flu season by monitoring flu activity illnesses, medical visits, and hospitalizations through its influenza surveillance systems. Most seasons begin in October, peak between December and February, and continue through May. The 2019-2020 flu season was unusual in that flu activity began to decline in March. According to the CDC, this was perhaps associated with community prevention measures for COVID-19.

National Influenza Surveillance Scheme

Coronavirus: Deaths at 20

This paper provides a comprehensive summary and analysis of the National Influenza Surveillance Scheme, including surveillance systems that function outside of the Scheme, in 2015. The Scheme is coordinated by the Australian Government Department of Health and supported by a number of surveillance systems that aim to be nationally representative and monitor important aspects of severity, incidence and virology. Influenza activity monitored through its systems is presented in reports available on this page. Several jurisdictionally based surveillance systems that operate outside of the Scheme are used to inform local influenza activity trends. This paper describes the strengths and limitations of these influenza surveillance systems in terms of the aspects of influenza activity that they inform and their contribution to the overall monitoring of influenza activity in Australia.

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National Center For Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance

Based on NCHS mortality surveillance data available on December 16, 2021, 17.4% of the deaths that occurred during the week ending December 11, 2021 , were due to pneumonia, influenza, and/or COVID-19 . This percentage is above the epidemic threshold of 6.6% for this week. Among the 3,330 PIC deaths reported for this week, 2,569 had COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death on the death certificate, and eight listed influenza, indicating that current PIC mortality is due primarily to COVID-19 and not influenza. The data presented are preliminary and may change as more data are received and processed.

Surveillance Methods | FluView Interactive

How Many People Die Of The Flu Each Year On Average

According to data collected by the CDC from 2010 to 2020, the agency estimates that the flu has caused 12,00052,000 deaths annually. During that time, the flu also caused 9 million41 million illnesses, and 140,000710,000 hospitalizations. Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that the flu kills 290,000 to 650,000 people per year.

Those numbers can vary so much from year to year, because what we know as “the flu” isn’t one specific thingit’s actually made up of different influenza strains that circulate. “How many people die of the flu each year of the flu is definitely related to the strains that are circulating, how accurately researchers were able to predict what should go into the flu vaccine, and how many people are vaccinated,”Anjali Mahoney, MD, MPH, family medicine specialist with Keck Medicine of USC, tells Health.

Certain influenza strains can also be more severe than others. “Sometimes there are years where there are big genetic shifts, and we can see a very different virus,”Cassandra Pierre, MD, MPH, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center, tells Health. Robert L. Murphy, MD, a professor of infectious diseases at Northwestern Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine, agrees, saying that the flu virus is always changing. ” it can be a nastier strain,” he tells Health. “It goes up and down.”

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How Much Does Vaccination Protect From The Flu

Vaccinations prevented an estimated 6,300 deaths in the 2019-2020 flu season. In the past decade, they have prevented as few as 3,500 deaths in the 2018-2019 season and as many as 12,000 deaths in the 2013-2014 season. According to mandatory reporting, 80% of children who die from the flu are unvaccinated.

Healthcare Practitioners Sentinel Syndromic Surveillance

Influenza cases low in Arizona this year — what does that mean for next year?

During the 2019-2020 season, an average of 89 healthcare practitioners/centres across the country participated each week in influenza-like illness surveillance for the FluWatch program . On a weekly basis, these sentinel healthcare practitioners report the proportion of patients in their practice who had ILI based on the FluWatch definition:

Sudden onset of flu symptoms with fever and cough and with one or more of the following: sore throat, joint pain, muscle aches, or fatigue which is likely due to the flu.

  • Children younger than 5 years old might also have symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Patients younger than 5 years old or 65 and older might not have a fever.
  • Overall, ILI activity was below the five-year average for the majority of weeks this influenza season.
  • During active influenza season , 1.4% of all patient visits reported by sentinels were due to ILI.
  • The percentage of visits for ILI reported by sentinels peaked at the start of January at 2.9%.
  • For the majority of the season, the highest percentage of visits for ILI was reported among those less than 20 years of age. The lowest percentage of visits for ILI was reported among adults 65 years of age and older.

Figure 5: Percentage of visits for ILI reported by sentinels by week, Canada, season 2019-2020

The shaded area represents the maximum and minimum percentage of visits for ILI reported by week from seasons 2013-2014 to 2018-2019


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Outpatient Respiratory Illness Visits By Age Group

More than 70% of ILINet participants provide both the number of patient visits for respiratory illness and the total number of patient visits for the week broken out by age group. Data from this subset of providers are used to calculate the percentages of patient visits for respiratory illness by age group.

The percentage of visits for respiratory illness reported in ILINet are trending upward for all age groups .

* Effective October 3, 2021 , the ILI definition no longer includes without a known cause other than influenza.

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