by Center for Policy and Research
August 27, 2015
Influenza, pneumococcus, and hepatitis B are highly communicable diseases that carry a heavy burden on the health care delivery system for adults ages 65 years and older at increased risk for these diseases. An estimated 90% of all seasonal flu-related deaths and between 50% and 60% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the U.S. occur in people ages 65 years and older. In 2014, flu-associated hospitalization rates among people 65 years and older were the highest recorded since The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking these rates in 2005.Many of the 175,000 hospitalizations each year result from pneumococcal pneumonia with a case-fatality rate of 5% to 7% annually. The case-fatality rate is much higher among adults 65 years and older. For those at high-risk, hepatitis B can be 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.