Five more children have died of flu this season, bringing the total to 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The cumulative hospitalization rate is 11.3 per 100,000 people, which is higher than this time during every previous season since the 2010-’11 season. Children under 5 years have the second highest hospitalization rate of any age group at 20.7 per 100,000 children.
About 6% of outpatient visits were for a respiratory illness in the week ending Nov. 19 compared to 5.8% the week before and well above the baseline of 2.5%.
Across all ages, the CDC estimates flu has caused at least 6.2 million illnesses, 53,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths.
Flu activity is very high or high in much of the country. Most of the viruses detected so far this season have been influenza A(H3N2). Most viruses tested are similar to those in this season’s vaccine.
The AAP and Children’s Hospital Association have asked federal officials to declare a public health emergency as pediatricians’ offices and hospitals are inundated with children seeking care for respiratory viruses on top of continuing mental health concerns and workforce shortages. The AAP also recently updated its interim guidance for handling a surge in patient volume.
The AAP and CDC recommend everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated to protect them from flu. About 35.4% of children have been vaccinated this season, nearly five percentage points lower than November 2020.
- CDC webinar “2022-2023 Seasonal Influenza Testing and Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic”
- 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
- AAP webpage on preventing flu in early education and child care settings
- Information on flu from the CDC
- CDC FAQs about the 2022-’23 flu season
- AAP flu toolkit
- Information for parents on flu vaccine from HealthyChildren.org
- Information on flu from the AAP Red Book
- Flu vaccine locations near you