Pediatric influenza deaths rose to 23 and the first human case of avian influenza in the U.S. was reported, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
About 7.8% of clinical lab specimens were positive for influenza during the week ending April 23, down from 8.9% the previous week. Outpatient medical visits for respiratory illness held steady at 2.1%. Flu activity is highest in New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colorado and Massachusetts.
The cumulative hospitalization rate of 11.1 per 100,000 people is higher than last season, but lower than the four seasons just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the CDC.
Overall, the CDC estimates at least 5.3 million people have gotten sick from flu this season, 53,000 have been hospitalized and 3,200 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 said it would keep its flu recommendations the same next season with no preference for any product.
The first human case of avian influenza A(H5) in the U.S. was reported in Colorado. The person was directly exposed to poultry believed to be infected with the H5N1 virus. The patient experienced fatigue, was treated with the antiviral oseltamivir and has recovered, according to the CDC.
H5N1 viruses have been found in commercial and backyard birds in 29 states and in wild birds in 34 states. Health officials consider the risk to the public to be low, but those with job-related or recreational exposures are advised to take precautions....
- 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