Prognosis of Flu


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About prognosis: The 'prognosis' of Flu usually refers to the likely outcome of Flu. The prognosis of Flu may include the duration of Flu, chances of complications of Flu, probable outcomes, prospects for recovery, recovery period for Flu, survival rates, death rates, and other outcome possibilities in the overall prognosis of Flu. Naturally, such forecast issues are by their nature unpredictable.

Prognosis of Flu: Good for healthy adults and children. Risks for infants, elderly, or other at-risk people.
Prognosis for 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
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).2
Average life years lost from Flu: 9.5 years for pneumonia/influenza (SEER)3; 10.9 for pneumonia/influenza in North Carolina4; 4.3 average YPLL/person for pneumonia and influenza in Michigan5.
Deaths from Flu: 63,730 annual deaths for influenza and pneumonia (NVSR Sep 2001); estimated 20,000 deaths from flu (NIAID)
Cause of death rank: 7th leading cause of death in 1999 and 2000 is "pneumonia/influenza" (CDC)
Complications: see complications of Flu

Prognosis of Flu discussion: Most people who get the flu recover completely in 1 to 2 weeks, but some people develop serious and possibly life-threatening complications. While your body is busy fighting off the flu, you may be less able to resist a second infection. Older people and people with chronic illnesses run the greatest risk of getting secondary infections, especially pneumonia. In an average year, flu leads to about 20,000 deaths nationwide and many more hospitalizations.6

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Focus On The Flu: NIAID
2. excerpt from The Flu, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID
3. SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2000, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
4. Years of Potential Life Lost in North Carolina, NCMJ March/April 2002, Volume 63, Number 2
5. Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, MDCH, Michigan, USA
6. excerpt from What to Do About the Flu - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: May 30, 2003

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