Pneumonia and influenza deaths increase in the US

8% of all deaths in the US  last week were due to pneumonia and influenza, according to the CDC.

Really big news during a flu pandemic, right?

Not really, says the CDC:

The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) based on the 122 Cities Report increased over the previous week and is higher than expected for this time of year. This increase in P&I is thought to result from an increase in reports of pneumonia-associated deaths in older people. These deaths are not necessarily related to flu illness.

Now they tell us. See, at the beginning of the pandemic, we were told, over and over again, that this pandemic was mild because the number dying was much less than 30,000, the estimated number of people who supposedly died of seasonal flu every year. And where did the seasonal flu estimates come from? Why, from the pneumonia and influenza deaths provided by the CDC every year of course!

So, we are supposed to trust the pneumonia and influenza statistics from the CDC when estimating seasonal flu deaths, but we shouldn’t trust those same statistics when they tell us 8% of the deaths are due to flu during a pandemic. Note, there is almost no seasonal flu circulating, just pandemic H1N1.

Pandemic H1N1 is worse than seasonal flu no matter how the CDC manipulates their statistics. A lot worse.

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10 Comments

Filed under Outbreak, public health

10 responses to “Pneumonia and influenza deaths increase in the US

  1. http://www.who.int/vaccine_research/diseases/ari/en/index.html

    64 million cases and 160,000 deaths per year from RSV worldwide
    RSV was identified in 15-40% of pneumonia or bronchiolitis cases admitted to hospital in developing countries, followed by influenza viruses, parainfluenza viruses, human metapneumovirus and adenovirus
    35000 RSV-related hospitalizations of the elderly per year in USA.
    RSV attack rates in nursing homes in the USA are approximately 5%-10% per year
    with a 2%-8% CFR , 10000 deaths per year among persons >64 years of age
    ————————–
    1 billion cases of interpandemic flu worldwide per year, 400000 deaths
    37 million cases of flu per year in the USA , 175000 hospitalizations , 35000 deaths

  2. monotreme1000

    gsgs, sure, RSV could be causing the deaths in old people. But only this year? Not every other year? My point is that the CDC can’t attribute all pneumonia deaths to influenza some years and not others (without testing). If RSV caused many of deaths in old people this year, than it likely caused many of deaths in old people in other years. Hence, the “30,000 flu deaths” number is completely bogus and the flu deaths that are confirmed in this pandemic represent a much higher death rate than “seasonal” flu.

  3. many deaths at the height of RSV like these weeks.
    10000 in total per season.
    When you question the 36000 flu-deaths (41000 more
    recently), you should really address the details of the corresponding papers
    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm

  4. monotreme1000

    gsgs, they are *estimating* deaths due to influenza. Which I did address.

  5. reaonable estimates, high significance, lots of data

  6. monotreme1000

    The only way to know what is actually happening is to test. This is cheap and easy. Why “estimate” when you can know?

  7. cost.
    Why not estimate when you don’t know ?

  8. monotreme1000

    It’s *not* expensive to do RT-PCR if you are set up for high-throughput. CDC has already spent millions on the machines. But they don’t know how to use them. Fire a few “risk communicators” and replace with them with actual scientists and they can determine what is killing people instead of guessing.

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