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More People Around The World Die From Seasonal Influenza Than Previously Believed.

Please share this information widely.

From Emergency Medicine Today - 12/13/17 03:05 PM EST

Reuters (12/13, Steenhuysen) reports, “As many as 646,000 people are dying globally from seasonal influenza each year, US health officials” with the CDC “said on Wednesday.” Those officials estimated that “global death rates from seasonal influenza are likely between 291,000 and 646,000 people each year, depending on the severity of the circulating flu strain.” This is an increase from the “prior estimate range of 250,000 to 500,000 deaths,” according to findings published in The Lancet. Reuters adds that National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Dr. Anthony Fauci “and other experts have long called for investment in the development of a universal flu vaccine that would protect against both seasonal and pandemic flu.”

PBS NewsHour (12/13, Santhanam, 923K) reports that in arriving at the study’s conclusions, CDC researchers “analyzed the WHO’s Global Health Estimate data from 1999 to 2015, including statistics from 33 countries that represent more than half of global population.” Next, they “used computer modeling to develop estimates for flu-linked deaths, excluding pandemics, in 185 countries.”

According to TIME (12/13, Ducharme, 5.55M), “the researchers also noted in the study that their estimates likely do not capture all” deaths related to influenza. Specifically, the study honed in “on flu-related respiratory illnesses, but influenza can also worsen chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, or cause other serious complications, including encephalitis and organ failure.”

Medscape (12/13, Frellick, 204K) reports, “In an accompanying comment, Sheena Sullivan, PhD, from the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia, said the statistics by country are particularly useful.” She also “notes that the authors recommend wider use of vaccines, but that is more realistic in high-income countries, which are more likely to have influenza vaccination programs and policies in place, she says.” Medscape points out that some of the study’s co-authors received “grants from the CDC” and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, among others.

To read the entire article at Emergency Medical Today's Bulletin Health Care mailview sent to Dr. Rudnick, click the following link:



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