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

15 Mars, 2019, 01:38 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Flu Season Peaked But A New Influenza Strain Takes The Lead

But what's interesting about this year's spike in reported illnesses is that the H3N2 virus, a more severe strain of the flu, is causing the majority of hospitalizations.

Deep into the flu season, 32 states are reporting high flu-like activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The season usually ends in May.

There's a strong chance this flu season has peaked, but health officials are watching a recent wave of illnesses from a nastier flu strain.

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.

And for the second consecutive week, a more severe strain of influenza is making up most of the new cases, the CDC reported on Friday.

The H1N1 influenza viruses remain predominant this season, but during the week ending March 2, the H3N2 strain was reported 62 percent of the time, the CDC said.

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Since flu-associated deaths in children became a nationally notifiable condition in 2004, the total number of flu-associated deaths nationally among children during a regular season has ranged from 37 deaths during 2011-2012 to 185 deaths during 2017-2018, though estimated deaths of children during last year's high severe flu season have been put at 600 by the CDC.

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

This season, a milder strain has been the most common cause of flu illnesses.

As March began, many believed that flu season was on its way out.

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". H3N2 viruses account for about two-thirds of influenza A viruses tested this past week, according to the CDC. This is the overall rate, with a higher proportion of people who are 65 and older requiring hospitalization (107 per every 100,000), followed by children up to age 4 (49 per every 100,000) and then people between the ages of 50 and 64 (48 per 100,000).

One death was associated with an influenza B virus and occurred during week six.

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