Part I: The Flu

How many people get the flu each year? How much does the flu cost us? How well does the flu vaccine work? Here’s a rundown of some important flu statistical information, based on the best available data. All flu statistics are courtesy of WebMD.

• Flu activity usually peaks in January and February.

• The CDC recommends that everyone over six months of age get a flu vaccine as soon as it’s available.

• Number of flu vaccine doses available in the U.S. for the 2012-2013 flu season: one hundred thirty five million.

• Percentage of the U.S. population that will get the flu, on average, each year: between five percent and twenty percent.

• It takes about two weeks after vaccination for an adult to develop antibodies against the flu.

• Number of Americans hospitalized each year because of flu complications: two hundred thousand, on average.

• The number of people who die each year from flu-related causes in the U.S.: ranges from three thousand to forty nine thousand.

• In the U.S., influenza and pneumonia were the eighth leading cause of death in males in 2009.

• The 2012-2013 flu vaccine protects against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus, and the H1N1 virus that caused the 2009 pandemic.

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