Editor's note:For the latest flu coverage, visit https://www.aappublications.org/collection/influenza.
Flu activity decreased slightly last week, but the death toll continued to rise.
Eight more pediatric deaths have been reported, bringing the total to 64 this season, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Across all ages, the CDC estimates as many as 31,200 people have died.
During the week ending March 2, about 4.7% of outpatient clinic visits were for flu, down from 4.9% the previous week but still above the baseline of 2.2%. Flu is widespread in every state except Hawaii and Vermont.
Up to 26.3 million people have gotten sick this season, and roughly 347,000 have been hospitalized, according to the CDC. The cumulative hospitalization rate rose to 36.6 per 100,000 people last week. Children under 4 years have the second highest rate, 49.3 per 100,000 children.
Influenza A (H3) viruses were most common last week, while H1N1 was predominant for most of the season.
The CDC and the Academy recommend everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu. Flu vaccine is 61% effective for children and 47% for the overall population, according to interim data from the CDC.
Inactivated influenza vaccine is 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.