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Cold and Flu Fast Facts

Cold and Flu Fast Facts
  • Every year in the United States, on average1:
    • 5% to 20% of the population get the flu
    • More than 200,000 people are hospitalized with flu-related complications
    • About 36,000 people die from flu-related causes
  • Most adults are likely to have a common cold 2 to 4 times a year. Children, especially preschoolers, may have a common cold as often as 6 to 10 times annually.2
  • One important reason why colds are so common in children is because they often are in close contact with each other in daycare centers and schools. In families with children in school, the number of colds per child can be as high as 12 a year.3
  • More than 200 different viruses are known to cause the symptoms of the common cold.3
  • Every year, about 22 million school days are lost because of the common cold.4



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Mayo Clinic.
  3. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Stopping Germs at Home, Work and School."