Death toll increases from winter flu
Each year, an average of 36,000 people die from flu-related complications in the United States, and that number continues to grow. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attributes the increase to the aging population and the strength of recent flu bugs.
Recent data also indicate 11,000 people die each year from respiratory synctial virus (RSV), which causes upper and lower respiratory tract infections primarily in young children and older adults. Most of those deaths, the study found, are among the elderly.
People older than 65 are considered to be at high risk for complications from the flu, as are those with chronic medical conditions and health care workers. The primary strategy for preventing flu-related deaths continues to be vaccination, especially for those at high risk.