Influenza

Treasury written question – answered on 4th May 2004.

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Photo of David Willetts David Willetts Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people died of influenza-related illnesses in each of the last 20 years.

Photo of Ruth Kelly Ruth Kelly Financial Secretary, HM Treasury

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. David Willetts, dated 4 May 2004

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many people died of influenza-related illnesses in each of the last 20 years (169326).

The latest year for which data are available is 2002. The number of deaths certified as due to influenza 1 are given in the table below, for the calendar years 1983 to 2002. Previous analysisa,b has shown that deaths certified as due to influenza under-estimate the increase in mortality associated with influenza outbreaks and epidemics.

Calendar year Number of deaths
1983 796
1984 346
1985 662
1986 587
1987 190
1988 285
1989 2,114
1990 791
1991 248
1992 262
1993 439
1994 62
1995 251
1996 179
1997 347
1998 129
1999 585
2000 509
2001 38
2002 38

(38) The cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) code 487 for the years 1983 to 2000, and the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes J10-J11 for 2001 and 2002. a Curwen M, Dunnell K, Ashley J. Hidden influenza deaths: 1989–90. Population Trends 61 (1990), 31–33. b Ashley J, Smith T, Dunnell K. Deaths in Great Britain associated with the influenza epidemic of 1989–90.

'Population Trends' 65 (1991), 16–20.

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