900,000 Americans were hospitalized and 80,000 Americans died from the flu during the 2017-2018 season, according to figures released during a news briefing held last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). This is the highest flu-related death toll in over a decade, according to federal health officials.
Among the 80,000 dead were 180 children under 18, the highest reported death toll of any non-pandemic year since the CDC began tracking pediatric deaths. 90% of the flu-related deaths from last flu season were reported in people over age 65.
The high mortality rate is unusual and alarming, as it was not caused by a new pandemic influenza strain, but by a “normal”, albeit severe, flu season.
As we head into the 2018-2019 U.S. flu season, Americans are urged to prepare by getting vaccinated by the end of October.
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