Influenza and pneumonia are two of the most commonly occurring diseases found in the United States, caused by viruses and bacteria such as the influenza virus and the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium or pneumococcus. Influenza, commonly referred to as flu, is a respiratory disorder that is contagious and affects the lungs, throat, and nose via a viral infection, whereas pneumonia is a bacterial infection that affects the lungs and is severe—and where apart from lung infection, severe cough, fever, and difficulty in breathing is observed. Both of these infections are very common and affect a large number of people in the USA and the world in general. This is the situation, in spite of the fact that vaccines are available for both of these diseases.


Annual expenditure for pneumonia and influenza in the US

In fact, statistics reveal that the incidence of community-acquired pneumonia is quite high in the United States, even in adults apart from the elderly and those at higher risk. The cost of hospitalization and other medical costs for pneumonia in 2011 were greater than 10 billion dollars and this cost has not seen much of a decrease in the ensuing years. In 2013, the annual cost of healthcare for pneumonia and flu combined was 19.9 billion dollars with 81% or 16.2 billion dollars being used for treatment and care of pneumonia patients, whereas 3.7 billion is spent annually on influenza healthcare.


Number of hospitalization cases due to pneumonia and influenza

The rate of hospitalization for pneumonia and influenza in 2010 was 36.6 percent and 0.2 percent respectively, with 1,128,000 individuals with pneumonia and 7,000 individuals with influenza being hospitalized. Separate studies conducted to analyze the hospitalization rate of individuals with pneumonia and influenza revealed that from 2002 to 2011, hospitalization rates for the disease pneumonia caused by Klebsiella species, Pseudomonas species, S. aureus, and the influenza virus saw an increase whereas pneumonia caused by H. Influenzae and pneumococcus saw a decrease.


Deaths and causes of deaths due to heart attacks

Another disease which has a high rate of hospitalization and death is heart disease. Data reveals that the number of deaths due to heart disease were 614,348 in America, with the percentage of death in a population of 100,000 individuals being192.7. Death due to SCD (sudden cardiac death)—where the heart stops functioning—is the leading cause of mortality in the US and on an average 325,000 deaths are caused per year because of the condition in the US alone.


The causes of deaths due to heart attacks

Sudden cardiac death is caused due to arrhythmias, which are defined as abnormal rhythms of the heart. The most common type of arrhythmia that results in death is ventricular fibrillation, where disorganized and erratic impulses are fired from the ventricles, which are the lower chambers of the heart.