Pneumonia Fatalities Outpace COVID-19 and Influenza
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced about 8.9% of the deaths that occurred last week were due to pneumonia, influenza, and/or COVID-19 (PIC).
Among the 2,172 PIC deaths reported by the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance on March 9, 2023, 1,274 listed pneumonia as an underlying or contributing cause of death on the death certificate, 876 had COVID-19, and 22 listed influenza.
While everyone is aware of COVID-19 and flu shots, most people don't know pneumonia is also a vaccine-preventable disease.
The CDC also confirmed the proportion due to influenza increased from October through mid-December 2022, decreased for seven weeks, and has been stable at low levels for the past five weeks.
Unfortunately, the CDC confirmed on March 10, 2023, a total of 125 influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurred during the 2022-2023 flu season. Previous data indicate about one-third of these children were vaccinated.
While the flu season is fading in most areas of North America, the CDC reminds international travelers a second flu shot this year may protect them when visiting at-risk countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
The World Health Organization published Influenza Update N° 400 on March 6, 2023, stating in the temperate zones of the Southern Hemisphere, influenza activity remained at interseasonal levels.
In the U.S., there were about 173 million flu shots distributed during 2022-2023.
And many health clinics and community pharmacies offer vaccination services in March 2023.