The number of children who have died of influenza during the 2021-’22 flu season has reached five, according to Flu View, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) weekly surveillance report.
Two deaths were reported during the week ending Jan. 15. One death was associated with an influenza A(H3) virus, and the other was associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed.
The CDC previously reported that the first two influenza-associated pediatric deaths this flu season occurred in mid-December, and the third pediatric death was reported in early January.
According to the report, seasonal influenza activity in the United States declined again slightly during the week of Jan. 9 through 15 but remains elevated and is expected to continue for several weeks. Influenza A(H3N2) continues to be the most common virus detected.
The cumulative hospitalization rate in the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network is higher than the rate for the entire 2020-’21 season. However, it is lower than the rate seen at this time during the four seasons preceding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AAP and CDC recommend everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year to protect against the flu and its potentially serious complications. In the 2019-’20 season, a record-breaking 199 children died, most of whom were unvaccinated.