Influenza and pneumonia are a leading cause of death in the United States. The two diseases are traditionally reported together because pneumonia is frequently a complication of influenza. Influenza is a contagious disease caused by a virus. The number of influenza deaths can fluctuate considerably from one year to the next as influenza can be caused by more virulent virus strains in some years than others as the viruses constantly mutate. Pneumonia is a serious infection of the lungs that develops when the immune system is weakened. It is mainly caused by bacteria, viruses, and mycoplasmas. Typically there are more deaths from pneumonia than from influenza. Influenza vaccination is suggested for all individuals six months and older, but influenza and pneumonia vaccination are especially recommended for persons most at risk, including the elderly, the very young, and the immunocompromised.
This indicator shows the age-adjusted death rate per 100,000 population due to influenza and pneumonia.