CDC Seasonal Influenza Death Estimate Increases

According to a new study based on data obtained from forty-seven countries performed by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other global health agencies, estimates of flu-related deaths worldwide are higher than previously thought. The study suggests that...

by | Feb 13, 2023

Influenza Virion

Influenza Virion

According to a new study based on data obtained from forty-seven countries performed by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other global health agencies, estimates of flu-related deaths worldwide are higher than previously thought. The study suggests that between 291,000 and 646,000 are killed by seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year. Previous estimates placed the number of deaths between 250,000 and 500,000.

The new death estimate number comes from data obtained by analyzing flu-related deaths in 33 of the 47 countries studied that had at least 4 years of death records and seasonal flu information between the years of 1999 and 2015. The researchers studied mortality by regions as well as by age groups. The highest rates of influenza-associated deaths were in populations over age 75 as well as people living in sub-Saharan African countries.

The study notes that even the newly updated numbers may underestimate the true global impact as they only reflect influenza-associated respiratory deaths. Research into non-respiratory flu-related deaths is ongoing. To read the CDC report click here.

The Influenza Virus

Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a respiratory illness that is highly contagious and is caused by the influenza virus and can affect the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu symptoms include a fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle/body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue.

Two main types of influenza virus exist, A and B. These are the strains that cause seasonal flu epidemics. Throughout flu season, both A and B and A subtypes are responsible for causing illness.

How do laboratories test for the Influenza Virus?

Correct and early diagnosis of flu help determine the appropriate treatment. Diagnosis cannot be made based on symptoms alone so laboratory diagnostic procedures like viral culture that determines influenza A subtype or influenza A and B strains that are responsible for the illness, rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTS) which can return results in 15 minutes, and, depending on the test, can distinguish whether the virus is influenza A or B, immunofluorescence assays that can yield results in 2-4 hours and uses a fluorescent microscope and staining to detect A and B antigens, and other methods.

During a respiratory illness outbreak, laboratory testing can determine whether the flu virus is the cause and can help determine the correct treatment and prevention.


Contract Laboratory has received the following test requests from companies, research institutions, and other organizations in need of laboratories for influenza testing are research like the following:

  • LONG-TERM TESTING A Microbiology laboratory is needed for anti-viral testing of solutions to treat a wide spectrum of viruses. The company would like to conduct some basic dish tests in which the reagent is applied to bellwether viruses, such as Influenza A & B, Norovirus, Enterovirus, and Equine Virus.
  • Pharmaceutical ICH-GCP Contract Research Organization CRO needed for flu clinical study using qRT-PCR (quantitative H1N1 and H3N2 PCR). Samples must be tested within the CFR11 / ICH-GCP legislation.
  • A Preclinical Contract Research Organization is needed for flu vaccination efficacy study in a specific strain of KO mice. Vaccination followed by challenge with live virus. Plasma should be collected before vaccination and at 4 weeks. This should be followed by challenge with the flu virus and two weeks of survival curve. Vaccination would be delivered IM and infection delivered intranasally as in humans.
  • Virology Laboratory needed for OPA (ortho-phthaladehyde) efficacy study on viruses Poliovirus type I, Rhinovirus type 42, Adenovirus type 2, Vaccinia (Wyeth), Coxsackievirus type B-3, Hepatitis A, Coronavirus, Cytomegalovirus, flu virus (Hong Kong), Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1, Herpes Simplex-1, Herpes Simplex-2, Duck Hepatitis B, Avian Influenza A.
  • Pharma researcher needs a virology laboratory for antiviral testing of acyclovir formulation with herpes or flu virus for work with nanoparticles.
  • A microbiology laboratory is needed for disinfectant efficacy testing of the product against below-listed microorganisms. Avian Influenza A virus H1N1 (Swine flu) Canine Parvovirus Feline calicivirus PED (Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus PRRS (Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome) PCV (Porcine Circovirus Type 2) Salmonella En En Enteritidis E.Coli O157:H7 Clostridium perfringens Peudomonas aeruginosa Aspergillus fumigates Can you please provide a quote for all virus study
  • Virology Laboratory needed for performance testing ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) device used to kill H1N1 virus deposited on respirator coupons. Experiments are needed to evaluate the performance of the device using other viruses. We are requesting a quote to evaluate the performance of the device using the following viruses: H5N1 (low path); H7N9 (low path); H5N9; SARS; and MERS-CoV. We will provide the UVGI source and provide training on the method.
  • more microbiology test requests

Need microbiology laboratories for influenza or other virus testing or research?Submit a test request by clicking here, or by calling us at 1-855-377-6821!


Related Content


Editor's Choice