Actually, Dr-A, according to the WHO, it does.
"In annual influenza epidemics 5-15% of the population are affected with upper respiratory tract infections. Hospitalization and deaths mainly occur in high-risk groups (elderly, chronically ill). Although difficult to assess, these annual epidemics are thought to result in between three and five million cases of severe illness and between 250 000 and 500 000 deaths every year around the world. "
They say we have a case of the swine flu in TN now.
Anyway, in the US we are told 36000 people die from the flu each year. It's very deceiving without actually digging into where the stats are coming from. I have even called our news station to correct them because it's quiet irritating when stats are presented to the public wrong. Most flu data comes from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Database, and this is where doctors get their information to educate their patients. MMWR reports deaths from FLU and Pneumonia all in same group, so the numbers reported are not accurate for flu. The National Center for Health Statistics does track this info. This center, along with the American Lung Association published a paper in 2004 that detailed the number of deaths from the flu alone in various age groups over the past twenty-five years. They report fewer than 20 deaths each year in groups, <1 yr, 1-4yr, 5-14, 15-24, and 25-34. That is 100 deaths by the actual flu virus adults and children. Add in 65 and older and the number pushes to 1500, with 90% of death occurring in the elderly.
Last gathered stats in 2000 was that 65,000 died from Pneumonia and the flu. 63,548 from pneumonia and 1,765 from the flu. Most of the flu deaths are 65 and over.
So, instead of 36,000 its actually 1,800 with 90% of the deaths being the elderly.