What is the ratio of infected/killed in the normal seasonal flu (not h1n1)?

1 Answer

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You mean the number of people who have died from complications of seasonal flu compared to the number of people who have died from complications of the novel H1N1 "swine" flu? That number does not exist because the World Health Organization stopped counting the cases of H1N1 back in July. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control only reported the number of deaths due to complications associated with H1N1 flu. You'll have to wait to get the comparison, but don't be surprised if the CDC never does it. If after they've blown the whole swine flu scare out of proportion the number of deaths compared to seasonal flu is much lower (which is likely), they won't want to admit they scared everyone for no reason.

    The CDC is already claiming there are underestimates of swine flu cases here: http://www.cdc.gov/eid/content/15/12/pdfs/09-1413.... probably because they want to prep the public when the number of deaths don't exceed seasonal flu.

    You may be able to find more information before me at this website:

    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/estimates_2009_h1n1.htm

    (Scroll down past the chart for additional links that might give you something like the total cases of deaths.)

    Here you go. I was right. CDC says:

    "CDC does not know exactly how many people die from seasonal flu each year. There are several reasons for this:

    * First, states are not required to report individual seasonal flu cases or deaths of people older than 18 years of age to CDC.

    * Second, seasonal influenza is infrequently listed on death certificates of people who die from flu-related complications.

    * Third, many seasonal flu-related deaths occur one or two weeks after a person’s initial infection, either because the person may develop a secondary bacterial co-infection (such as a staph infection) or because seasonal influenza can aggravate an existing chronic illness (such as congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

    * Also, most people who die from seasonal flu-related complications are not tested for flu, or they seek medical care later in their illness when seasonal influenza can no longer be detected from respiratory samples. Influenza tests are most likely to detect influenza if performed soon after onset of illness.

    * For these reasons, many flu-related deaths may not be recorded on death certificates.

    These are some of the reasons that CDC and other public health agencies in the United States and other countries use statistical models to estimate the annual number of seasonal flu-related deaths. "

    (source: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/estimates_2009_h1n1.htm... )

    This means then that probably the only comparison you'll get is through a statistical model (and no doubt they can inflate numbers with this).

    The only other thing I can think of is this: Based on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine several years ago, the number of deaths annually from the flu virus was put at 36,000 on average. This number was derived before the novel H1N1 "swine flu" pathogen was discovered. Hence, given the H1N1 virus is resulting in deaths this flu season, if it is significantly more deadly than seasonal flu the total number of deaths at the end of flu season 2010 should be much higher than 36,000. Until then, the 36,000 deaths gives you some indicator of how severe deaths from H1N1 are compared to seasonal flu. Currently:

    Deaths from H1N1: approx. 4,000 (see the CDC chart here: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/estimates_2009_h1n1.htm )

    Flu-related Deaths Expected annually: 36,000

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.