64 flu-related child deaths so far this season — CDC

Modesto Morganelli
Marzo 15, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control says experts also are monitoring an increase in illnesses from a kind of flu virus that tends to cause more hospitalizations and deaths, especially in the elderly.

The H3N2 strain was the culprit behind 62 percent of the reported flu cases for the last week of February, the CDC reported.

Rates of hospitalization for influenza and pneumonia climbed above the established national threshold for the sixth time this season during week 8, and the proportion to all visits of people seeing a health care provider for influenza-like illness - some 4.7 percent - decreased slightly but remained above the national baseline of 2.2 percent at the end of week nine.

It's unclear whether the season has peaked, but there are still weeks of flu activity to come this season, with 48 states and Puerto Rico reporting widespread activity.

The number of flu cases in Monroe County has begun to taper downward in the latest data available from the county's public health department.

Flu activity remains high across the nation, and there's a second wave of severe infections striking some states. In recent years, flu-related deaths have ranged from about 12,000 to 56,000, according to the CDC.

Sixty-four children have died from the flu or flu complications so far this season.

The CDC recently estimated the vaccine "reduced the risk of medically attended influenza-related illness by nearly half (47 percent) in vaccinated people this year". All of them were people over the age of 50.

A milder strain of influenza has been the most common cause of flu illnesses this season.

Through the week ending March 2, as many as 26.3 million people have had the flu this season, which began on October 1. H3N2 viruses account for about two-thirds of influenza A viruses tested this past week, according to the CDC.

It is still recommending the annual flu vaccine for anyone six months or older as seasonal flu viruses continue to circulate, and vaccination can less symptoms even when infected and helps stops the spread of the disease particularly to those unable to get immunized.

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