A child has died of the flu, marking the first reported pediatric death of the season as influenza activity continues to increase, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The death was associated with an influenza A(H3) virus.
Overall, high or very high flu activity is being seen in the southeast and south-central U.S. Very high levels of flu cases are in New York state, District of Columbia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas. High levels of flu are hitting Alabama, Louisiana, New York City and Puerto Rico.
While multiple respiratory viruses are co-circulating, about 6.2% of clinical lab specimens were positive for influenza based on data for the week ending Oct. 28.
The data also showed that outpatient medical visits for respiratory illness stood at 3.3%, which is above baseline, and 2,332 patients were admitted to the hospital.
So far this season, the CDC estimates there have been 880,000 illnesses, 6,900 hospitalizations and 360 deaths from flu. The cumulative hospitalization rate is higher than the rate observed in the same week during previous seasons going back to 2010-’11.
The AAP and CDC urge everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
- AAP policy Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2022-2023
- AAP technical report Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2022-2023
- CDC article on early wave of flu hospitalizations
- Information on flu from the CDC
- CDC FAQs about the 2022-’23 flu season
- AAP News article “CDC: 2021-’22 flu vaccination for children lowest in eight seasons”
- Information for parents on flu vaccine from HealthyChildren.org
- Information on flu from the AAP Red Book
- Flu vaccine locations near you