Thursday, September 27, 2018


Nearly 80,000 died of flu last year, CDC says

The AP (9/26, Stobbe) reports about 80,000 Americans died of the flu and related complications this past winter – “the disease’s highest death toll in at least four decades” – according to CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D. Dr. Redfield said, “I’d like to see more people get vaccinated. ... We lost 80,000 people last year to the flu.” Daniel Jernigan, M.D., “a CDC flu expert,” explained that while the flu detected this year appears to be a less aggressive strain, officials still “don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re seeing more encouraging signs than we were early last year.” The AP adds that in recent years, “flu-related deaths have ranged from about 12,000 to – in the worst year – 56,000, according to the CDC.”
Fortune (9/26, Shoot) reports the flu vaccine “turned out to not be very effective” last year, which contributed to “the sudden increase in flu-related deaths.” After the last flu season, “the CDC began using a new methodology for ranking severity of flu seasons,” classifying the 2017-2018 winter as “a high severity season across all age groups,” the only season to receive a high severity classification.