Influenza is the most frequent cause of death from a vaccine-preventable disease in the United States. From 1990 through 1999, an average of approximately 36,000 influenza-associated pulmonary and circulatory deaths occurred during each influenza season. In addition to fatalities, seasonal influenza is also responsible for more than 200,000 hospitalizations per year. Rates of infection from seasonal influenza are highest among children, but the risks for complications, hospitalizations, and deaths are higher among adults ages 65 and older, children younger than 5 years, and people of any age who have medical conditions that place them at increased risk for complications from influenza.
A novel H1N1 virus was first detected in March of 2009 and quickly spread to pandemic levels. In the U.S., it is estimated that approximately 43-89 million persons became ill with 2009 pandemic H1N1 from April 2009 to April 2010. The virus also resulted in significant hospitalizations and deaths among children, adults 19-65 years, obese persons, and pregnant and post-partum women.
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HOW SERIOUS A PROBLEM INFLUENZA IN THE U.S.?