What are the mortality rates associated with influenza?

Updated: Aug 07, 2020
  • Author: Hien H Nguyen, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Unlike adult flu-related deaths, pediatric flu-related deaths are reportable in the United States. (See Pediatric Influenza.) For the 2019-2020 influenza season, 55,000 influenza-related hospitalizations had been reported as of early January 2020, and 2900 attributable deaths had been reported at that time, including 27 pediatric deaths. [20]

The following statistics are offered for comparison:

  • The 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic caused 500,000-700,000 deaths in the United States—almost 200,000 of them in October 1918 alone—and an estimated 30-40 million deaths worldwide, mostly among people aged 15-35 years
  • The 1957 H2N2 influenza pandemic (Asian flu) caused an estimated 70,000 deaths in the United States and 1-2 million fatalities worldwide
  • The 1968 H3N2 influenza pandemic (Hong Kong flu) caused an estimated 34,000 deaths in the United States and 700,000 to 1 million fatalities worldwide

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