How many people die of flu every year? How many died of A(H1N1) swine flu?

Updated Dec 31, 2009

swine flu precautions

According to CDC (the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention):

Each flu season is unique, but it is estimated that, on average, approximately 5% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu, and more than 200,000 persons are hospitalized for flu-related complications each year. About 36,000 Americans die on average per year from the complications of flu. (Full)

According to the BBC:
It is worth remembering that seasonal flu often poses a serious threat to public health: each year it kills 250,000 - 500,000 around the world. (Full)

To put this in perspective with A(H1N1) swine flu, WHO (The World Health Organisation) states in their latest update:
As of 27 December 2009, worldwide more than 208 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 12,220 deaths. (Full)

And in a broader perspective:
An average of 195,000 people in the USA died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a study of 37 million patient records released in 2004. (Full)


Check out the A(H1N1) swine flu casualty maps I collected.
If you are a bit sarcastic about it all, check The Dos and Donts to avoid swine flu infection.

Picture courtesy Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

9 comments:

Anonymous,  01 May, 2009 23:36  

Very nice! There are a few intelligent people out there who see this for what it really is - just a bunch of hype intended to sell papers, boost ratings, etc. How many people die from auto accidents every year, heart disease, cancer, etc.? I’ve seen statistics on how much more likely you are go die in an auto accident on the way to buy lottery tickets than actually winning the lottery. The media is despicable, but this is nothing new. To paraphrase Mark Twain, “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do you are misinformed.”

Peter 02 May, 2009 08:17  

@Anonymous...

Nice quote! ;-)

P.

Mo-ha-med 06 May, 2009 02:19  

Yes, jeez! Thank you! Will add this to my "Swine Flu world roundup post", with your permission.

Peter 06 May, 2009 06:36  

@Mo-ha-med --
Sure feel free!

P.

Anonymous,  17 October, 2009 13:56  

I find it difficult to get a clear answer. I find that "about 36,000 people died of seasonal flu-related causes each year, on average, during the 1990s in the United States".

And my question is, how many have died of all 'flu-related causes THIS year so far in the United States?

And I can't find a clear answer anywhere. I see curve graphs, spike graphs, percentages, deaths and hospitalizations broken down by state and by status of patients, but not a clear numerical answer to compare with the previous ones. It really looks like there is not the epidemic that is being noticed, but I CAN'T TELL, because the information seems manipulated or obscured so as to not make the comparison clear.

(I don't like writing "anonymously" but your "profile" didn't seem to permit my email addres and I guess I didn't understand/qualify for the other profiles. I am fltoner@softcom.net)

Peter,  17 October, 2009 14:49  

@fltoner

answering you by email.

Peter

Anonymous,  29 October, 2009 00:35  

I would love to know the answer.

Peter 01 November, 2009 23:26  

@anonymous

answered you by direct email.

Peter

Anonymous,  09 November, 2009 02:04  

so 1 in 7 people that get the flu will die, and 1 in 78 people that get swine flu will die. :)

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