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CDC flu report: Pediatric death toll increases to 111 :

May 24, 2019

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Two more children have died of flu this season, bringing the total to 111, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The pediatric death toll is the second highest in the past four years behind last year’s 187 deaths, but surpassing 110 in 2016-’17 and 95 in 2015-’16.

Across all ages, the CDC estimates as many as 42.9 million people have gotten sick, 647,000 have been hospitalized and 61,200 have died this season.

About 1.5% of outpatient clinic visits were for flu during the week ending May 18, the fifth consecutive week below baseline. These rates were above baseline for 21 weeks, peaking in February at 5.1%. Massachusetts was the only state reporting widespread flu activity last week.

H1N1 viruses were predominant from October into February, but a surge of H3N2 viruses beginning in late February contributed to what became the longest season in a decade.

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 (LAIV) may be used for children who would not otherwise receive a vaccine, according to AAP policy.

Next season, the AAP will not have a preference between the two vaccines. However, AstraZeneca, which manufactures LAIV vaccine FluMist Quadrivalent, has announced its supply will be limited due to manufacturing constraints.

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