Flu's Annual Impact


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The influenza virus causes respiratory illness in both children and adults. Severe cases may result in hospitalizations and even death, but even mild cases often require treatment. Recent data from AHRQ illustrate some of flu's burdens.

Hospital Stays and Emergency Department Visits for Flu, 2015-16
  • Hospital Inpatient Stays: 47 per 100,000 people
  • Emergency Department Visits: 176 per 100,000 people
  • In-hospital Deaths: 5,400
Source: Inpatient Hospital Stays and Emergency Department Visits Involving Influenza, 2006-2016. Statistical Brief #253. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. October 2019. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb253-Influenza-Hospitalizations-ED-Visits-2006-2016.jsp.

Average Annual Flu-Related Expenses, 2016-17
  • $840 for emergency room visits
  • $312 for ambulatory surgery visits*
  • $119 for prescription medicine
*Ambulatory visits are office or hospital outpatient visits

Source: Health Care Use and Expenditures for Influenza, 2016-17. Statistical Brief #526. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. October 2019. meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st526/stat526.pdf.

Internet Citation: Flu's Annual Impact. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). May 2020. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/infographics/flus-annual-impact.jsp.
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Last modified 5/19/20