While most people who get flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, some people will develop complications. These complications can be life-threatening and result in death.
- 9.3 – 45.0 million illnesses
- 140,000 - 810,000 hospitalizations (about 20,000 of those hospitalized are children under the age of 5)
- 12,000 - 61,000 deaths (including over 100 children)
Influenza is one of the deadliest vaccine-preventable diseases in America.
DEATHS IN CHILDREN
On average, over 100 children die from the flu and its complications every year in the U.S. To date, over 2,100 children have lost their lives to flu since 2004. Approximately 80% of children who die from flu are not vaccinated and approximately half were otherwise healthy.1
The CDC indicates that pediatric flu deaths are likely under-reported because not all children whose death was flu-related may have been tested for influenza.
DEATHS IN SENIORS
During most flu seasons, individuals who are 65 years of age or older tend to bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease.2
Compared to children and adults, seniors are more likely to be hospitalized and die from the effects of influenza.
The results of flu in seniors accounts for:
Prevent Flu Deaths
Everyone 6 months and older needs a flu vaccine every year to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick with the flu.
The flu vaccine is updated annually to help protect against circulating flu strains and it’s the best defense we have to fight flu.
Visit these other pages to learn more about flu prevention and vaccination:
Page last reviewed: March 2021.