CDC devises new way to estimate flu-related deaths

Share this article:
CDC devises new way to estimate flu-related deaths
CDC devises new way to estimate flu-related deaths

Many healthcare workers may be familiar with this statistic: Each year, roughly 36,000 people die from influenza. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is walking away from this decades-old figure, saying the actual death toll varies greatly year to year.

The familiar 36,000-deaths-per-year estimate originated in the early 1990s, and was based on the lethality of the then-common H3N2 strain of influenza, according to the CDC. The number of deaths caused by that strain of flu is typically 2.7 times higher than other strains, including H1N1 or influenza B. Flu deaths actually range from about 3,300 to as many as 49,000 per year, and it is nearly impossible to predict the impact the flu will have at the start of the season, CDC officials said in their estimate revision Thursday.

Seniors still account for roughly 90% of flu deaths each year, CDC researchers confirmed in their announcement. This year for the first time, the CDC has recommended that everyone over the age of six months receive a flu vaccine.

Share this article:

More in News

A small team of workers responds best in emergencies, expert says

A small team of workers responds best in ...

Long-term care providers should consider a "flat" crisis management approach that relies on a core group of staff members, experts advised Wednesday at the LeadingAge annual conference.

Nursing homes have better pain and catheter management if leaders have more ...

Nursing homes led by administrators and directors of nursing with higher levels of education and certification have better outcomes on some key quality measures, according to recently published findings.

Court green-lights charges that a healthcare network underused observation stays

A whistleblower can continue to pursue charges that a Nevada healthcare network routinely admitted people as hospital inpatients when they should have been placed in observation status, a federal appeals court recently ruled.