DefinitionDeaths with influenza or pneumonia as the underlying cause of death.
ICD-10 codes: J09-J18
NumeratorNumber of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia
DenominatorTotal number of persons in the population
Data Interpretation IssuesInfluenza and pneumonia are combined for ranking as a leading cause of death, however the majority (86.0 to 99.9%, depending on the year) of those deaths are due to pneumonia. Not all pneumonia deaths are related to influenza. Pneumonia can also be due to other viruses as well as bacteria. See [https://icd.who.int/browse10/2019/en#/J09-J18] for a complete list.
Why Is This Important?Influenza and pneumonia combined were the tenth leading cause of death among New Jersey residents and ninth among all US residents in 2019. (Influenza and pneumonia are combined for ranking as a leading cause of death, however the majority of those deaths are due to pneumonia.)
How Are We Doing?The age-adjusted death rate due to influenza and pneumonia has been generally declining for many years. In 2019, fewer than 1,300 New Jersey resident deaths were due to influenza and pneumonia, with pneumonia comprising 90% of those deaths.
In the total population and among each racial/ethnic group, males have a higher death rate than females. For 2017-2019, county rates per 100,000 population (age-adjusted) ranged from a low of 9 in Burlington to a high of 27 in Salem.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The New Jersey age-adjusted death rate due to influenza and pneumonia is significantly below that of the US.
What Is Being Done?The New Jersey Department of Health has several programs that track influenza and pneumonia infections or that [https://njiis.nj.gov/core/web/index.html#/mission track] and/or promote vaccination. Health care professionals are to immediately call in confirmed or suspected cases of influenza to the local health department.
The [https://njiis.nj.gov/core/web/index.html#/vfcDocs Vaccines for Children Program] provides pediatric vaccines at no cost to doctors who serve children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay.
Evidence-based PracticesAnnual influenza vaccination is the most effective method for preventing influenza virus infection and its complications.[https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/index.html ^1^] Vaccination against pneumococcal disease has been effective in reducing infections among seniors and persons with certain medical conditions.[https://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/prevention.html ^2^]
Health Program InformationSeasonal Flu: [http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/flu.shtml]