Pneumonia & COVID-19 Far Exceed Influenza Fatalities
The latest data indicates the 2021 flu season has not arrived in America from the Southern Hemisphere, and neither have influenza-related fatalities.
Of the 15,625 samples tested by U.S. Public Health Laboratories last week, only two were positive for influenza viruses as of October 1, 2021.
Additionally, the World Health Organization published Influenza Update N° 403 based on data up to September 12, 2021, which stated, ‘despite continued or even increased testing for influenza in some countries, influenza activity remained at lower levels than expected at this time of the year.’
Furthermore, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the latest National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance data indicates 20.9% of the deaths that occurred during Week #38 ending September 25, 2021, were due to pneumonia, influenza, and/or COVID-19 (PIC).
Among the PIC deaths reported last week, 3,606 had COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death on the death certificate, 2,960 documented pneumonia, and four listed influenza.
Of the COVID-19 deaths confirmed last week, the CDC data indicates there were two pediatric reports.
During 2020 and through today, the CDC had confirmed 478 COVID-19 deaths involving people less than eighteen years of age, and 985 involving pneumonia.
The best aspect of the influenza virus delayed arrival this flu season is there has been only one influenza-associated pediatric death occurring during the 2020-2021 flu season reported to CDC.
Last flu season, 199 pediatric deaths related to influenza were reported to the CDC.
Influenza vaccines, known as flu shots, protect people against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming flu season.
The CDC suggests most children over six months of age get a yearly flu shot. And adults have a broad selection of influenza vaccines to choose from in 2021.
Moreover, there will be an ample supply of flu shots available this year. The U.S. FDA’s last report indicates about 190 million influenza vaccine lots will be released for distribution.
Influenza viruses are classified into three distinct types based on their significant antigenic differences; influenza A, influenza B, and influenza C reports the U.S. NIH. Flu A and B viruses are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics in humans.
Most importantly, the CDC says that influenza vaccines do not cause seasonal flu since they are made with either killed or weakened viruses.
Note: The CDC says the ‘number of deaths reported is the total number of deaths received and coded as of the date of analysis and does not represent all deaths that occurred in that period. COVID-19 deaths are those with confirmed or presumed COVID-19, coded to ICD-10 code U07.1. Data during this period are incomplete because of the lag between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS, and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more.’
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