Editor's note:For the latest flu coverage, visit https://www.aappublications.org/collection/influenza.
Flu activity is decreasing, but the season hasn’t wrapped up just yet.
Four more pediatric deaths were reported last week, bringing the total to 86. Across all ages, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates as many as 40.1 million people have gotten sick, 585,000 have been hospitalized and 54,800 have died.
About 2.8% of outpatient clinic visits were for flu during the week ending April 6, down from 3.1% the week before, but still above the baseline of 2.2%, according to new CDC data.
These rates have been above baseline for 20 weeks, while the past five seasons averaged 16. The virus is widespread in 20 states, and four states are experiencing high levels of activity.
While H1N1 viruses have been predominant for much of 2018-’19, H3N2 viruses have surged in recent weeks, contributing to the long season.
The CDC and the Academy recommend everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu. Flu vaccine is 61% effective against medically attended influenza for children and 47% for the overall population, according to interim data from the CDC.
This season, inactivated influenza vaccine has been the primary vaccine choice, while quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine may be used for children who would not otherwise receive a vaccine, according to AAP policy.However, the AAP recently announced that it will not have a preference between the two vaccines next season.