Why Is This Flu Season So Deadly?
According to www.cnn.com, This flu season is fierce and has already claimed the lives of at least 37 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 11,965 laboratory-confirmed flu-related hospitalizations reported from October 1 to January 20. The number of people infected with influenza is believed to be much higher because not everyone goes to their doctor when they are sick, nor do doctors test every patient.
Added to those scary stats, the World Health Organization estimates that annual flu epidemics result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness globally and 290,000 to 650,000 deaths. Although the fever and aches may feel terrible, most of us don’t die from the flu. So how exactly does this common illness lead to so many dying? “Influenza and its complications disproportionately affect people who are 65 and older. They account for 80% of the deaths,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.
But young children and people who have an underlying illness, such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes, are susceptible to dying from the flu as well, he said. There are three ways adults can succumb to Pneumonia.
What is pneumonia?
“The usual flu death is a person who gets influenza, gets all that inflammation in their chest, and then has the complication of pneumonia,” explained Schaffner, who added that this is a “long, drawn-out process.”
Pneumonia is an infection that causes the small air sacs of the lungs to fill with fluid or pus. Though this is the most common route to death, flu can be fatal for more unusual reasons.