This lifted directly from the Center for Disease Control website:
The number of influenza-associated (i.e., flu-related) deaths varies from year to year because flu seasons often fluctuate in length and severity. CDC estimated that about 36,000 people died of flu-related causes each year, on average, during the 1990s in the United States. This figure includes people dying from complications of flu. This estimate came from a 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medication Association (JAMA), which looked at the 1990-91 through the 1998-99 flu seasons . Statistical modeling was used to estimate how many flu-related deaths occurred among people whose underlying cause of death on their death certificate was listed as a respiratory or circulatory disease. During these years, the number of estimated deaths ranged from 17,000 to 52,000.
Yes folks, a lot of people die from influenza (the flu) every year. So many in fact that pneumonia and influenza (both are grouped together in this case since pneumonia is often brought on by the weakening of the immune system and damage to the respiratory tissue by the flu) are the sixth leading cause of death in the USA.
Old people die from the flu. Sick and infirmed people die from the flu. Usually, healthy people are not at risk of dying from the flu. Sometimes it feels like you're dying, but stay hydrated, keep the fever under control and you're probably going to pull through just fine.
So why all the ruckus over nothing more than the potential (there really haven't been that many reported cases in either Mexico or the USA) to have a banner year of influenza related illness and death? Damned if I know, but I can speculate.
Ya see, the powers in charge like to keep the proles scared. They like you commoners to stay on edge. . . be in fear and then rely on the federal gov't to keep you safe from those fears. The war on terrorism, the CDC fighting this viral plague, all those brown people invading from the south. . . it's all designed to keep you a little on edge and dependent on the feds for your safety and well being. Whenever an event or condition can be exploited in this way, it'll be done.
So go ahead, fall for these manipulations. Shutter yourselves inside your homes and wait for the federal gov't to free you from the bondage of your fears. Remember, if the swine flu doesn't get you, West Nile Virus or Avian influenza will. Be afraid, be very afraid.