HOW ARE FLU DEATHS COUNTED?

World of Knowledge (Australia) - - Human Body -

Flu deaths are dif­fi­cult to count as deaths are recorded as re­sult­ing from pneu­mo­nia or a sec­ondary con­di­tion. This means au­thor­i­ties have to base their flu mor­tal­ity fig­ures on es­ti­mates. To ar­rive at a num­ber you sub­tract the sum­mer deaths from the more nu­mer­ous win­ter deaths and call what’s left over ‘ex­cess mor­tal­ity’. Al­though this fa­tal­ity rate can never ex­actly match the true num­ber of in­fluenza deaths, it serves as the ba­sis for es­ti­mat­ing ‘flu-re­lated ex­cess mor­tal­ity’. The year 2009 was an ex­cep­tion be­cause that was when swine flu was spread­ing through Aus­tralia. Au­thor­i­ties were obliged to re­port all deaths. The sur­pris­ing out­come: only 191 doc­u­mented swine flu deaths na­tion­wide.

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