In a tragic story that’s making headlines across the country, a fourth-grade girl from Ohio died just one day after being diagnosed with strep throat and influenza.
The number of flu-related deaths varies widely from year to year, but even during a relatively mild flu season the illness claims thousands of lives. The CDC reports that over a three-decade period starting in the mid-1970s, the number of flu deaths in the US ranged from a low of about 3,000 a year to as many as 49,000 in a bad year.
Last year’s flu season was particularly deadly, claiming the lives of more than 80,000 Americans, including a record 185 children.
While most people will recover from a bout with the flu, complications can arise, some of which can be severe or fatal. The illness can turn deadly for anyone, but it is most dangerous for adults over the age of 65 and children under the age of 5.