Flu now blamed for 84 child deaths this season, CDC says

The deaths of 22 more children from flu-related causes were reported Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and...

Posted: Feb 17, 2018 8:57 AM
Updated: Feb 17, 2018 8:57 AM

The deaths of 22 more children from flu-related causes were reported Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its weekly surveillance report.

Those deaths bring the total number of children reported to have died to 84 since October when the current flu season began. Three out of four children who died from the flu had not gotten a flu vaccine, the acting director of the CDC said in a Thursday news conference.

3 out of 4 children who died from the flu had not gotten a flu vaccine

Widespread activity continues through 48 states

"We continue to recommend parents get their children vaccinated even though it's late in the season," said Dr. Anne Schuchat. The season may continue for several more weeks, she added.

Caused by viruses, flu is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death.

The vaccine's performance in children was "better than we expected," said Schuchat following release of the CDC's midseason report of estimated vaccine effectiveness rates.

Overall, the vaccine was found to be just 36% effective against circulating flu strains, however, in children, the effectiveness rate was 59%.

This means a vaccinated child has reduced his or her risk of getting sick and going to the doctor's office by more than half.

CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said that flu activity is still high, however it did not increase significantly over the last week.

"While this may mean that we've peaked, we won't know until know more until we see the data for the coming weeks," said Nordlund.

Still, Schuchat noted that levels of flu-related illness across the nation are reaching peaks observed during the H1N1 pandemic season in 2009, though this year's flu is not pandemic.

"Hospitalization rates are significantly higher than what we've seen for this time of year since our current tracking system began almost a decade ago," Schuchat added.

Hospitalization and illness

Flu-related hospitalizations rose to about 68 people out of every 100,000 in the sixth week of 2018 from about 60 out of every 100,000 last week, the CDC estimated in its weekly surveillance report.

A total of 19,398 laboratory-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations have been reported between the season's start on October 1, 2017 through February 10, 2018, according to the CDC.

Meanwhile, during the sixth week of the year, 7.5% of people who visited their doctors complained of flu-like illness. This high rate of flu-related illness occurred across most of the nation, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and New York City, the CDC said.

Among adults, the proportion of pneumonia- and flu-related deaths fell from 10.1% of all deaths occurring during the week ending January 20 to 9.8% of all deaths for the week ending January 27 (these data are always two weeks delayed). This rate, however, is higher than the anticipated 7.3% pneumonia- or flu-related deaths estimated for the week.

In 48 states, flu activity is "still widespread," said Nordlund. "Hawaii and Oregon are still the outliers."

Circulating flu strains this season are a mix of H3N2, H1N1 and B viruses. H3N2 strains are continuing to be dominant during the sixth week of 2018 as they have throughout the season, which began in October. H3N2 commonly leads to more severe illness and more hospitalizations, according to Schuchat.

The CDC confirmed 18,716 new infections for the week ending February 10, bringing the cumulative total for season to 178,040.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 14986

Reported Deaths: 566
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile1996109
Jefferson161488
Montgomery118630
Marshall6499
Tuscaloosa50512
Lee49832
Franklin4476
Shelby43319
Tallapoosa39662
Butler34411
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Elmore2637
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DeKalb2213
Coffee2001
Walker1981
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Sumter1916
Lowndes18610
Houston1644
Morgan1621
Autauga1593
Calhoun1413
Choctaw1414
Pike1360
Colbert1362
Marengo1336
Hale1293
Russell1280
Lauderdale1282
Randolph1257
Wilcox1187
Marion11310
Bullock1111
Barbour1101
Clarke1022
St. Clair1021
Pickens934
Talladega912
Greene894
Chilton871
Dale830
Cullman760
Limestone740
Jackson692
Covington651
Washington645
Winston620
Macon602
Bibb591
Crenshaw582
Henry562
Blount491
Escambia433
Lawrence420
Coosa331
Geneva330
Cherokee332
Perry310
Monroe282
Clay272
Conecuh251
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 20111

Reported Deaths: 336
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson451857
Shelby433694
Trousdale13934
Rutherford99822
Sumner81145
Bledsoe6071
Hamilton55214
Williamson51210
Tipton4263
Lake4090
Putnam3775
Robertson3711
Wilson3558
Out of TN3394
Knox3315
Bedford2654
Montgomery2403
Rhea1950
Hardeman1890
Madison1652
McMinn13413
Loudon1320
Cumberland1091
Fayette1072
Cheatham1040
Dickson1010
Macon1003
Bradley931
Blount823
Maury780
Unassigned750
Washington730
Sevier722
Coffee650
Wayne630
Sullivan612
Gibson611
Monroe572
Hickman540
Lauderdale511
Greene482
Dyer480
Franklin461
Anderson391
Marion361
DeKalb330
Hawkins312
Grundy311
Smith301
Haywood292
Henry290
Marshall281
Jefferson270
White270
Carroll271
Hamblen262
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Weakley260
Meigs250
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Overton200
Cocke200
Carter191
Warren190
Morgan170
Cannon170
Campbell171
Jackson170
Crockett151
Roane150
Johnson150
Polk140
Perry130
McNairy120
Henderson120
Chester120
Giles120
Humphreys121
Hardin112
Scott110
Sequatchie100
Fentress100
Stewart90
Claiborne80
Houston70
Benton71
Clay70
Grainger60
Decatur50
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Union40
Lewis30
Moore30
Pickett30
Unicoi30
Hancock10

 

 

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