Three more children have died of flu as virus activity continues to increase nationally, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
New Mexico, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Utah are seeing higher flu levels than other states. Nationally, about 8.4% of clinical lab specimens were positive for influenza during the week ending April 9, up from 8.3% the previous week.
About 2% of outpatient medical visits last week were for a respiratory illness, up slightly from the previous week but still below baseline. The cumulative hospitalization rate of 8.9 per 100,000 people is higher than last season, but lower than the four seasons just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three additional pediatric deaths bring the total to 19 this season. Overall, the CDC estimates at least 4.3 million people have gotten sick from flu this season, 42,000 have been hospitalized and 2,500 have died.
The AAP and CDC recommend everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated. Flu vaccines have not been highly effective in preventing infection this season but still may protect against severe illness.
The AAP recently announced it would keep its flu recommendations the same next season with no preference for any product.
- AAP policy Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2021–2022
- AAP technical report Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2021-2022
- Information on flu from the CDC
- CDC FAQs about the 2021-’22 flu season
- Information for parents on flu vaccine from HealthyChildren.org
- Information on flu from the AAP Red Book
- Flu vaccine locations near you