Flu Season: Pediatric Deaths Continue to Rise, But the Worst May Be Over

February 21, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​The influenza season may finally be starting to plateau, according to a February 16, 2018, situation update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The news comes along with a report that 22 children died from the flu during the past week, the highest reported number during this flu season. The total of U.S. pediatric deaths now stands at 84 for the season. The proportion of people visiting their healthcare provider for influenza-like illness was 7.5% during the week ending February 10, 2018. This is the first time that this indicator has not risen this season, according to a February 16, 2018, article in the Washington Post. Even if the worst is indeed over, the article said, flu activity could linger as late as early April. Trends suggest that the number of pediatric deaths could exceed the 148 reported during the 2014-2015 flu season. That season's flu vaccine (19%) was around half as effective as the one used this season, which is 36% effective, according the Washington Post article.

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