A recent release by Director of Center for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that last winter around 80,000 Americans died of flu and complications surrounding the disease making it the worst death toll in several decades. The total numbers which were revealed by Dr. Robert Redfield of CDC in an interview with Associated Press was surprising to most health experts that did not expect such high number of casualties. In recent years flu-related deaths have been rising according to CDC and last fall witnessed one of the worst flu seasons in the country.
Records is a show that the flu season peaked in February and was over within a couple of months by March end but the problem became aggravated as flu vaccine available did not prove effective leading to record the number of deaths in children and elderly. CDC also reported that flu-related deaths in recent years have fluctuated between 12000 and 56000. Its director Redfield told API that he would still recommend vaccination as it is the first line of defense against the virus and it reduces the severity of the disease.
As flu is common during fall most cases are not reported and it is not written as the cause of death in death certificates so CDC does not have exact figures and it uses statistical models to make rough estimates. This figure has eclipsed figures of several past bad flu seasons until 1976 and 78 and the two year pandemic in 1916 when around 500,000 Americans had died from flu and its related symptoms. According to CDC flu expert Dr. Daniel Jernigan, it is not difficult to compare flu histories as a national population is changing with the higher number of elderly citizens now than in the past. To combat the problem health officials of CDC are scheduled to hold a media event stressing on the importance of flu vaccines to combat oncoming winter season.