Flu Surpasses AIDS as Killer in U.S.
January 9, 2003
Influenza has surpassed AIDS as a lethal killer and contributes to an average 36,000 annual US deaths, largely because of a vulnerable aging population for whom the vaccine is often ineffective, government research shows. The CDC report "Mortality Associated with Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus in the United States," was published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association (2003;289:179-186). According to the research, the US flu-related death toll surged fourfold from 16,263 in 1976-77 to 64,684 in 1998-99. Drug breakthroughs in the mid-1990s helped reduce US AIDS deaths from 51,000 in 1995 to about 15,000 in 2001. Older people are more prone to flu complications, yet only about 65 percent of them get vaccinated. Annual flu shots have been recommended for people 65 and older since the 1960s and for those 50 and older since 2000.Adapted from:
01.08.03; Lindsey Tanner