Because the flu virus is contagious, it spreads easily among people who live close together, such as in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The numbers of people affected and the death rates can be high.
Children younger than 5 and adults ages 65 and older are two of the groups who are most likely to be hospitalized for flu-related illness.
Flu and its complications caused an average of 36,000 deaths in the U.S. between 1990 and 1999.1
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010. MMWR, 59(RR-08): 1–62. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr5908.pdf. [Erratum in MMWR, 59(31): 993. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5931a6.htm.]
Last Revised: July 8, 2010
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