Constitutional Health Network:
How Many People Actually Die From the Flu Each Year?
It's that time of year again. Pharmacies are plastering their doors with posters and setting sandwich boards out on the sidewalks. Newspapers are blaring headlines like, "First Flu Death Reported!" The holidays are here, and the fear machine is about to ramp up to full speed. It's flu season. 
The question is — should you be worried?

Influenza is a cash cow for Big Pharma

Make no mistake: influenza is big business. Any pharmacy bigger than a phone booth is giving out flu shots. Doctor's offices are pushing them. Many states recently passed laws allowing dentists to give flu shots, and others are setting up immunization stations in schools. Flu clinics are popping up everywhere. Even big-box retail stores — who have no business mucking around in "healthcare" — are getting in on the act. 
If you think this has anything at all to do with your health, think again. Do you really think these folks are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts? 
Of course not. There's big money to be made from the flu. But to make the money, first they have to scare you into getting a shot. That's where the news headlines come in, and the big, scary — and outright untrue — statistics about flu deaths. 
For years, the CDC has been telling us that 30-some thousand people die of the flu each year. But here's the truth: most of those deaths are really not influenza. We're fed a lot of half-truths and misinformation about our health on a regular basis. This one, however, is just a flat-out lie. 

What is a "flu-like illness," anyway?

To get away with this lie, they do two things. First, they lump influenza and pneumonia together. If you look at the U.S. vital statistics records for any given year, you'll find dozens of causes of death, along with the number of people who died from them. It's a huge table that stretches over many pages. In the flu section of this table you'll find three different listings: 
   •   "influenza and pneumonia"
   •   "Influenza"
   •   and "pneumonia"
The first number is the flu and pneumonia grouped together; it's huge. The third is pneumonia alone. It's huge too. The second is influenza itself…and it's very small. 
But here's the thing — no one reads the actual statistics. They read the version that's condensed into a short report. And IT only lists "influenza and pneumonia." This makes the number seem much, much bigger than it is. For example: 56,979 people died of "influenza and pneumonia" in 2013. That's a scary number. And putting the word "influenza" first insinuates that flu is the primary cause of death. reality, only 3,697 died of the actual flu. The other 53,282 died of pneumonia. 
The other way they get by with the lie is to lump together influenza and "influenza-like illnesses." 
This is a big thing. 
There are some 200 different viruses that cause "influenza-like" illnesses, and most of them aren't the flu. About 80% of these flu-like illnesses are caused by something other than influenza. Yet the CDC puts them all in the same category and uses them to boost their statistics. There's even been a shift in the language on their website toward the use of "influenza-like illness" instead of "influenza" or "flu." 
Could it be that the numbers just don't add up? 

The CDC has been lying to us…and they admit it on their website

While the 30,000 number has been bandied about for years, a careful reading of the CDC's own literature tells another story. In fact, amidst all the fearmongering and vaccine promotion, you'll find a surprising admission. It's buried deep within the site, and only the most determined researcher is likely to find it — but it's there. On its own massive website, the CDC baldly states that they don't actually know how many people die of the flu each year. 
Why not? 
In their own words: 
"Most people who die from seasonal flu-related complications are not tested for flu, or they seek medical care later in their illness when seasonal influenza can no longer be detected from respiratory samples."
You might want to read that again. According to the CDC, most people who supposedly die of "the flu" or "flu complications" are not even tested for the flu. Of the ones who are tested, most aren't positive for the flu. Yet the CDC still claims they died of flu. 
How does this make sense? It's like saying someone died of a heart attack because they grabbed their chest and fell over — but never checking their heart to see if that's what really happened. So they cover themselves by saying, "They didn't test positive for flu, so they must've just waited too long to come to the hospital." 
I call this lying through their teeth to sell you flu vaccines. 

So how many is it, really?

Since the turn of the 21st century, roughly 2,000 people per year actually die of the flu. In a couple of years it's been nearly double that. In others, like 2001 and 2002, it's been less than 300. The 1980s and 90s had the same kind of numbers. 
To put that in perspective: in 2013, more than 3,000 people died of malnutrition. 3,630 died of asthma. And 2,988 died from peptic ulcers. But we don't have scare campaigns over those conditions. Why? 
There's no vaccine to sell, of course. 
The 1970s were a bad decade for the flu, and the average number of deaths was closer to 5,000 through those years. But even back in the 40s — the earliest statistics I could find, and the decade with the most flu deaths — the number was nowhere near 30,000. 
So don't buy into the fearmongering. Is the flu serious? Yes. Influenza will put you in bed for a week. Is it a killer? Probably not. 

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