Basic Summary for Flu


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Main name of condition: Flu
Other names or spellings: Influenza, Grippe


What is Flu?
  Brief description of Flu: Very common viral respiratory infection.
  Parent types of Flu: Viral diseases, Respiratory conditions, Lung conditions, Respiratory infections, Pneumonia, Adolescent conditions, Nosocomial infections, Common Conditions, Upper Respiratory Infection, Diseases contagious from droplets, Diseases contagious from surfaces, Diseases contagious from saliva
  Organs Affected by Flu: respiratory, lung
  Types of Flu: Influenza A, Influenza B, Influenza C, Hong Kong influenza, Russian influenza, Spanish influenza, Asian influenza, Swine flu, Avian flu
How many people get Flu?
  Incidence (annual) of Flu: 36 per 100 (NHIS96); 35 million annually up to 50 million annually (NIAID/CDC); 10-20% yearly (NIAID)
  Incidence Rate of Flu: approx 1 in 3 or 36.00% or 97.9 million people in USA [about data]
  Prevalance of Flu: Every year, 10 percent to 20 percent of Americans get sick with the flu (influenza).1 ... In the United States, approximately 25 percent of the population has flu-associated illness annually, leading to an average of 20,000 to 40,000 deaths per year.2 ... The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 35 to 50 million Americans come down with the flu during each flu season, which typically lasts from November to March.3
Who gets Flu?
  Patient Profile for Flu: Anyone get can the flu, but more common in children
  Profile for Flu: Children are two to three times more likely than adults to get sick with the flu, and children frequently spread the virus to others.3
How serious is Flu?
  Prognosis of Flu: Good for healthy adults and children. Risks for infants, elderly, or other at-risk people.
  Prognosis of Flu: For most of us, the fever, exhaustion, and aches and pains of the flu can be debilitating for a week or two, but for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems the flu can be much more serious.1
  Average life years lost for Flu: 9.5 years for pneumonia/influenza (SEER)4; 10.9 for pneumonia/influenza in North Carolina5; 4.3 average YPLL/person for pneumonia and influenza in Michigan6.
  Deaths for Flu: 63,730 annual deaths for influenza and pneumonia (NVSR Sep 2001); estimated 20,000 deaths from flu (NIAID)
  Cause of death rank for Flu: 7th leading cause of death in 1999 and 2000 is "pneumonia/influenza" (CDC)
  Complications of Flu: see complications of Flu
What causes Flu?
  Cause of Flu: A variety of different respiratory influenza viruses.
  Class of Condition for Flu: viral
  Causes of Flu: see causes of Flu
  Risk factors for Flu: see risk factors for Flu
What are the symptoms of Flu?
  Incubation period for Flu: 1-3 days; perhaps 1-4 days
  Incubation period for Flu: If you get infected by the flu virus, you will usually feel symptoms one to four days later.3
  Duration of Flu: 3-10 days usually
  Duration of Flu: Most people who get the flu get better within a week (although they may have a lingering cough and tire easily for a while longer).3
  Seasonality of Flu: Winter more than summer
  Seasonality of Flu: Flu outbreaks usually begin suddenly and occur mainly in the late fall and winter.3
  Symptoms of Flu: see symptoms of Flu
Can anyone else get Flu?
  More information: see contagiousness of Flu
How is it treated?
  Treatments for Flu: see treatments for Flu
  Prevention of Flu: see prevention of Flu
Society issues for Flu
  Hospitalizations for Flu: 100,000 hospitalizations for flu (NIAID)
  Hospitalization statistics for Flu: The following are statistics from various sources about hospitalizations and Flu:
  • 1.03% (131,593) of hospital episodes were for influenza and pneumonia in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 67% of hospital consultations for influenza and pneumonia required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 51% of hospital episodes for influenza and pneumonia were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 49% of hospital episodes for influenza and pneumonia were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 93% of hospital admissions for influenza and pneumonia required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 13.3 days was the mean length of stay in hospitals for influenza and pneumonia in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 6 days was the median length of stay in hospitals for influenza and pneumonia in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 62 was the mean age of patients hospitalised for influenza and pneumonia in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 18% of hospitalisations for influenza and pneumonia occurred in 15-59 year olds in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 52% of hospitalisations for influenza and pneumonia occurred in people over 75 in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 1% of hospitalisations for influenza and pneumonia were single day episodes in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 2.13% (1,117,888) of hospital bed days were for influenza and pneumonia in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 0.001% (133) of hospital consultant episodes were for influenza due to identified influenza virus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 83% of hospital consultant episodes for influenza due to identified influenza virus required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 56% of hospital consultant episodes for influenza due to identified influenza virus were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 44% of hospital consultant episodes for influenza due to identified influenza virus were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 88% of hospital consultant episodes for influenza due to identified influenza virus required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 11.4 days was the mean length of stay in hospitals for influenza due to identified influenza virus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 4 days was the median length of stay in hospitals for influenza due to identified influenza virus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 24 was the mean age of patients hospitalised for influenza due to identified influenza virus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 17% of hospital consultant episodes for influenza due to identified influenza virus occurred in 15-59 year olds in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 17% of hospital consultant episodes for influenza due to identified influenza virus occurred in people over 75 in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 2% of hospital consultant episodes for influenza due to identified influenza virus were single day episodes in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 0.002% (1,109) of hospital bed days were for influenza due to identified influenza virus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 0.007% (896) of hospital consultant episodes were for unidentified influenza virus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 76% of hospital consultant episodes for unidentified influenza virus required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 52% of hospital consultant episodes for unidentified influenza virus were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 48% of hospital consultant episodes for unidentified influenza virus were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 90% of hospital consultant episodes for unidentified influenza virus required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 6 days was the mean length of stay in hospitals for unidentified influenza virus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 2 days was the median length of stay in hospitals for unidentified influenza virus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 46 was the mean age of patients hospitalised for unidentified influenza virus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 43% of hospital consultant episodes for unidentified influenza virus occurred in 15-59 year olds in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 26% of hospital consultant episodes for unidentified influenza virus occurred in people over 75 in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 1% of hospital consultant episodes for unidentified influenza virus were single day episodes in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 0.008% (3,977) of hospital bed days were for unidentified influenza virus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • Hospitalization statistics in Australia:
    • 1.3% (51,706) of hospital episodes were for influenza and pneumonia in public hospitals in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 8% of hospitalisations for influenza and pneumonia were single day episodes in public hospitals in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 84% of hospitalisations in public hospitals for influenza and pneumonia were by public patients in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 16% of hospitalisations in public hospitals for influenza and pneumonia were by private patients in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • Hospitalisations for influenza and pneumonia at public hospitals occurred in 26.5 people per 10,000 population in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 6.1 days was the mean length of stay in hospitals for influenza and pneumonia in public hospitals in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • Excluding same day episodes, 6.5 days was the mean length of stay in public hospitals for influenza and pneumonia in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 0.46% (11,211) of private hospital episodes were for influenza and pneumonia in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 2.2% of hospitalisations in private hospitals for influenza and pneumonia were single day episodes in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 8% of hospitalisations in private hospitals for influenza and pneumonia were by public patients in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 92% of hospitalisations in private hospitals in private hospitals for influenza and pneumonia were by private patients in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • Hospitalisations in private hospitals for influenza and pneumonia occurred in 5.7 people per 10,000 population in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 7.9 days was the mean length of stay in private hospitals for influenza and pneumonia in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • Excluding same day episodes, 8 days was the mean length of stay in private hospitals for influenza and pneumonia in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)


Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Focus On The Flu: NIAID
2. excerpt from Microbes in Sickness and in Health - Publications, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: NIAID
3. excerpt from The Flu, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID
4. SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2000, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
5. Years of Potential Life Lost in North Carolina, NCMJ March/April 2002, Volume 63, Number 2
6. Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, MDCH, Michigan, USA

Last revision: May 30, 2003

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