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CDC: Pediatric flu deaths rise to 24

May 6, 2022

Another child has died of flu, bringing the total to 24 this season, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About 8.1% of clinical lab specimens were positive for influenza during the week ending April 30, up from 7.8% the previous week. Outpatient medical visits for respiratory illness remained at 2.2%, which is below baseline. Flu activity is highest in New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colorado and Massachusetts and continues to increase in some regions.

The cumulative hospitalization rate of 12.2 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 5.7 million people have gotten sick from flu this season, 59,000 have been hospitalized and 3,600 have died.

A new CDC study of flu among children from 2010-’19 showed infants under 6 months had the highest hospitalization rates. Among children of all ages hospitalized with flu, just over half had a pre-existing medical condition. The study showed increases in use of antivirals for children and in vaccination rates. However, both have room for improvement. Only about 44% of children hospitalized with flu during the 2018-’19 season were vaccinated.

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.




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