Singapore News

News from Singapore

Flu deaths estimated at 600 per year

Posted by jtsmyth8 on March 14, 2008

About 600 people die from influenza in Singapore every year, and many of these lives could have been saved, experts say. The majority of them are 65 years and older. They rarely die of the flu virus, but from complications arising from a bad flu bout.

Doctors say that flu vaccine can cut the risk of death among the elderly by as much as 80 per cent.

A study on the flu deaths here between 1996 and 2003, released by the Ministry of Health and Singapore General Hospital in 2006, found that people over 65 are more than 11 times as likely to die of the flu than younger adults.

Many die because they also get a bacterial infection on top of the flu, and develop pneumonia, the third most common cause of deaths here.

The team concluded that these 600 deaths could have been prevented either through annual vaccinations or good treatment with antiviral medicine like Tamiflu or Relenza. (story)

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