The U.S. Center for Disease Control has revised its estimates of deaths caused by swine flu, using a more accurate method.
The CDC has updated its swine flu estimates with calculations by epidemiologists. They take detailed records from 62 counties and extrapolate them to the country as a whole. These figures include deaths such as pneumonia caused by the flu. The previous figures counted only laboratory-confirmed cases or “pure” swine flu deaths caused by fever, respiratory distress, and drowning in one’s own lung secretions.
With the new estimates, the number of deaths in the U.S. attributed to swine flu has thus tripled to 3900 people, including 540 children. This is the same method used to count deaths from the usual seasonal flu.
The CDC estimated that:
* 8 million children up to age 17 were stricken by swine flu; 36,000 were hospitalized and 540 died.
* 12 million adults ages 18 to 64 were infected; 53,000 were hospitalized and 2,900 died.
* 2 million people 65 or older were infected; 9,000 were hospitalized and 440 died. In a normal flu season, 90% of deaths occur in those over 65.
The new estimates do not include infections and deaths since Oct. 17, a period in which swine flu has been circulating at its highest rate.