Flu has long been associated with death in younger adults: it is known

Figure 1. Stuart-Harris et al. BMJ.[1]

A very short post just to highlight that younger adults have been linked to Flu deaths for many years. This is still far less often than occurs among the elderly (>65 year olds), but it does happen.

This has even been the case back when Flu virus infection was confirmed by growing virus from a patient’s samples after inoculating fertilised eggs as a diagnostic method.(Figure 1.,[1])

Figure 2. Li-Kim-Moy et al. CDI.[2]

In Australia today, Flu deaths also occur among younger adults and they occur consistently – as can be seen from data spanning 2006 to 2015 (Figure 2, [2]).

Deaths make a very big splash in the media when they happen as we generally don’t think of “healthy young adults” as dying from Flu. But the reality is that anyone can die from the Flu.

These are just two examples of many that can be found in the scientific literature.

Even if current vaccines sometimes provide pretty limited effectiveness compared to many other vaccines (mumps, measles, human papilloma virus etc.), they do still reduce the risk of serious outcomes after Flu virus infection among some of those vaccinated.

In the meantime – new Flu vaccines are, as everyone keep saying, coming, – and they’re needed.


  2. Australian vaccine preventable disease epidemiological review series: Influenza 2006 to 2015

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