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

  • CDC: 64 flu-related child deaths so far this season

CDC: 64 flu-related child deaths 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".

This flu season has marked a return to more typical numbers after last year's widespread outbreak of the virus, which prompted the federal Centers for Disease Control to classify the virus as "high severity across all age groups" in the USA for the first time.

Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but as March began, 21 states reported the highest flu level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As many as 347,000 people have been hospitalized with the flu. CDC recorded about 37 hospitalizations per 100,000 for the week ending March 2, with higher rates among older adults, children up to age 4 years, and individuals aged 50-64 years.

Hospitalization rates are a lot lower than last season, the CDC said.

That's a problem, because this year's flu vaccine is more effective against the H1N1 virus strain, which was more predominant at the beginning of the typical flu season around October. It's been a "double-barreled influenza outbreak this year", he said, with H1N1 seen throughout most of the country andtwo waves of H3N2 infections in the southeastern United States.

For the second week, the more severe H3N2 strain of the virus caused most new cases. But for the last two weeks, more illnesses have been tied to a strain that tends to cause more deaths. He also advises his patients to "remember to get it this fall in preparation for the next flu season".

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. This can include complications such as pneumonia, which can require hospitalization-and sometimes results in death.