‘The flu' causes at least 36,000 deaths each year in the U.S... is a myth.

The real number is is closer to 140, with more than 100 of those deaths in people at least 75 years old.

The CDC's own data is clear on this matter. These three documents (here, here, and here) provide data from 1979 to 2004.

CDC flu deaths 1979 2004

Already we discover the average mortality rate is 0.3 ‘flu’ deaths per 100,000 people.

On average there are 1256 ‘flu’ deaths yearly.

The number 36,000 exaggerates by ~ 30x.

But read on to see why the actual number of influenza deaths is even smaller...

Looking closely at the data reveals more than 75% of influenza deaths occur in people ages 75 years and older.

CDC flu deaths 1979 2004 details

This is significant, because research shows that the flu vaccine is largely ineffective in the elderly.

At the same time it has been shown that flu vaccine ingredients are directly associated with diseases prevalent in this age group.

The data also reveals that the number of children who die from influenza is very small when compared to the number of children who acquire neurodegenerative diseases and other disorders associated with the toxic ingredients found in packaged flu vaccines.

Papers such as this seek to mathematically model the association between influenza and 'complications', and thereby legitimize increased use of vaccines.

Three points should be realized:

1. The authors note influenza deaths occur primarily in the elderly. As cited just above, flu vaccines have been shown not to help.

2. The claim that influenza deaths have increased substantially in the past two decades is not supported by the field data shown in the first table.

3. The notion that influenza is a complication leading to tens of thousands of deaths from pneumonia is not supported by field data.

The third point can be explained by looking at the CDC's mortality data worksheets.

CDC verified flu deaths 1999 2004

This data tells that on average only 11% of the flu deaths cited by the CDC actually involved a verified influenza virus.

In other words, the average annual number of flu deaths is not 36,000 or 70,000... is closer to 140, with more than 100 of those deaths in people at least 75 years old.

That means the number 36,000 exaggerates by more than 250x.

The data also shows that on average only 76 pneumonia deaths occur each year in combination with an identified influenza virus.

That does not guarantee influenza was the primary factor leading to death, it simply means an influenza virus was figured to be present.

(Thanks to these folks for insight about how to unravel the myth)

It is more accurate to state that influenza-like illness (ILI) may lead to complications resulting in death due to pneumonia.

The CDC definition for ILI is

• Fever of at least 100°F along with

• Cough or sore throat

That’s it. No virus actually required.

That loose definition means the range of illnesses with "flu-like symptoms" is enormous.

There are thousands of chemicals, pathogens, allergens, and other triggers that activate the body's immune system to produce symptoms of ILI.

Unless the actual cause for each "flu death" is verified, there is no merit for including those deaths in bona fide influenza data used to rationalize a vaccination agenda.

"Pneumonia" and “pneumonia syndrome” are also vague definitions for cause of death.

According to the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease (NIAID) and the American Lung Association (ALA) pneumonia has hundreds of possible causes.

Examples include

Bordetella pertussis
Chlamydophila pneumoniae
Escherichia coli
Haemophilus influenzae
Klebsiella pneumoniae
Legionella pneumophila
Moraxella catarrhalis
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Rickettsia (at least 8 species)
Staphylococcus aureus (staph)
Streptococci (at least 90 known types — Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common)

Aspergillus (approximately 200 different molds known)
Candida (12 species of yeast — Candida albicans is the most common)
Histoplasma capsulatum
Blastomyces dermatitidis
Coccidioides immitis
Cryptococcus neoformans
Pneumocystis carinii
Pneumocystis jiroveci
Sporothrix schenckii

Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (IIP)
Acute interstitial pneumonia
Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP)
Desquamative interstitial pneumonia
Nonspecific interstitial pneumonia
Respiratory bronchiolitis-associated interstitial lung disease (ILD)
Usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) (aka idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)

Mycoplasma pneumoniae

Ascaris lumbricoides
Ancylostoma duodenale
Necator americanus
Strongyloides stercoralis
Toxoplasma gondii

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Herpes simplex virus
Influenza virus (3 subtypes, various strains)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
SARS coronavirus
Varicella-zoster virus

Other causes
Aspiration of liquids, gases, dust or food
Exposure to various chemicals*

*see here for an example called polymer fume fever

Influenza viruses are just one possible cause for a case of pneumonia.

That raises an important question — just how is the data collected and tabulated?...

According to these CDC procedures and comments, influenza and ILI surveillance data is collected using 4 methods:

During a 9-month period, data is collected from

1. Approximately 70 WHO and 50 NREVSS labs in the U.S. that report the number of specimens received for respiratory virus testing and how many test positive for influenza.

2. Approximately 700 sentinel physicians that provide their total number of patient visits and how many involved ILI.

3. State and regional epidemiologists that submit estimates of local combined influenza and ILI activity.

Throughout the year, data is reported weekly by

4. Vital statistics offices in 122 cities on the total number of death certificates filed, and of those how many have pneumonia or influenza listed on the certificate

These 4 data sources (which are samples, not precise nationwide counts) are fed into a mathematical model to 'determine' the proportion of all deaths attributable to influenza and pneumonia.

In other words, the final numbers are a fancy guess.

And any circumstances that further blur the distinction between true influenza and the various causes of pneumonia will result in even less reliable statistics for making policy decisions...

...Which is exactly what has happened.

The definition for a P&I death (a death attributed to pneumonia or influenza) changed in 1999-2000.

Before Pneumonia identified as an underlying cause of death — or influenza listed anywhere on the death certificate
After Pneumonia or influenza listed anywhere on the death certificate

The original definition was already vague. The new definition cheapens the data further because

A) it increases the number of reportable P&I deaths relative to previous years

B) it creates additional uncertainty about the true underlying cause of deaths included in the statistics

The procedures document goes on to claim that the changed definition (plus a revision in ICD code) caused only a 0.8% shift in mortality estimates that did not represent a true increase in deaths in 2000. However, it's effect in subsequent years has not been described.

From this point onward the true number of deaths due to influenza is even less certain.

What is certain — as shown by the tables above — is that the number is small.

By the way, people familiar with statistical math will recognize that the Epidemic Threshold factor of 1.645 standard deviations above the baseline is somewhat arbitrary.

It reinforces the CDC's ability to perpetuate use of the term 'epidemic' in reference to 'seasonal' flu rates.

Flu vaccines have not been proven safe for pregnant women or their fetuses.

Flu vaccines fall under the FDA's Pregnancy Category C for pharmaceuticals.

This category indicates that animal reproduction studies have either shown harm or have not been done.

It further indicates that there are no human studies to prove safety.

Read the package insert of any flu vaccine (for instance Afluria, Fluarix, Flulaval, Fluvirin, Fluzone or Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine).

In between reassuring recommendations by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for pregnant women to receive flu vaccination is this important caveat

"Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Influenza Virus Vaccine.

It is not known whether Influenza Virus Vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity.

Influenza Virus Vaccine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed."

But note; research has discovered that the fetus does react defensively to the mother's vaccination.

California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) declares

"The scientific evidence that PMA and Thimerosal cause reproductive toxicity is CLEAR and VOLUMINOUS."

"The evidence for its reproductive toxicity includes severe mental retardation or malformations in human offspring who were poisoned when their mothers were exposed to ethylmercury or thimerosal while pregnant."

The ingredients include hazardous doses of toxic chemicals.

There are no studies to prove the fetus or mother are safe from harm.

The risk of naturally contracting a fatal case of influenza is exceedingly small.

Yet the ACIP continues to recommend pregnant women should receive flu vaccines?...

Actually, the ACIP recommends just about everybody should get flu shots.

But flu shots are a failure in all age groups.

This in-depth survey, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), examined research done on the effectiveness of flu shots and found that

• The vaccines have little or no effect in preventing flu

• Most studies are poorly done

• Little evidence exists concerning the safety of these vaccines

This survey in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) took a different approach and also concluded that flu shots are ineffective.