We know that influenza, commonly known to us as the flu, is a very deadly illness that kills a number of people every year. But last year was no ordinary year.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday that over 80,000 people died from the flu last year, the highest death toll in decades. It was also announced by the CDC that over 900,000 people were hospitalized because of the flu.
Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, revealed the numbers in an interview to the Associated Press (AP).
Most experts and people knew that last year’s flu season was going to be bad, but nobody had expected to see numbers this high. An average flu season can claim any from 12,000 to 56,000 deaths, which of course depends on how bad a flu season is. However, this past year exceeded those estimates.
CDC’s flu division director, Dr. Daniel Jernigan, told NBC News that while the numbers were very high, it was consistent with what happened last year.
The Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Jerome Adams, flat out said in a news conference that the reason the flu had killed 80,000 people was that “they got it from someone. Someone gave them the flu.”
Adams noted that most of the people who had died did not have a flu shot.
The CDC does not count exactly how many adults die from the flu, but they do count how many children die from it. It was found that 180 children died from the flu last year, another high number of deaths.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot and also tell your friends and family to get one as well. Just because you got your flu shot does not mean that you cannot get the flu.
If you do get sick from the flu, try to avoid people that are vulnerable to getting the flu. This includes children, elderly, and those who get sick easily. Lastly, do expect to go to the hospital if you get the flu. It can and will kill you if you do not prepare for it enough.