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CDC flu report: 5 more children have died; activity falls below baseline :

April 26, 2019

Editor's note: An updated flu story is available at https://www.aappublications.org/news/2019/05/03/flu050319.

Five more influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported, as flu activity dropped below baseline for the first time since mid-November.

The additional flu deaths bring the total to 96 this season, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Across all ages, the CDC estimates 42.4 million people have gotten sick, 630,000 people have been hospitalized and 59,500 have died.

About 2.1% of outpatient clinic visits were for flu during the week ending April 20, down from 2.4% the week before. These rates were above baseline for 21 weeks, making it the longest season in the past decade

The virus still is widespread in Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts and New York, but no states reported high levels of activity.

H1N1 viruses were predominant from October into February, but a surge of H3N2 viruses beginning in late February contributed 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.

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