Figures on Flu Deaths are Misleading

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the much-cited average of 36,000 deaths in a typical influenza season is too high and grossly misleading.

The actual average is closer to 23,000 -- but even that figure is misleading, because in some seasons, the number has been as low as 3,300. What’s more, the number of deaths can vary dramatically from year to year.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

“During the 30 years covered by the study, nearly 90 percent of flu-related deaths occurred in people over the age of 65, about 10 percent in those ages 19 to 64 and about 1 percent in those younger than 19.”

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