What are the mortality rates associated with influenza?

Updated: Apr 23, 2019
  • 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 2011-2012 influenza season, which was mild in comparison with preceding years, 26 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported. [20] The 2012-2013 season, in which the predominant virus subtype was an H3N2, was notable for widespread disease and a higher mortality than the previous years. By March 3, 2013, a total of 87 influenza-associated pediatric deaths had been reported. [22]

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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