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CDC: Flu activity rising; 68 children have died :

January 31, 2020

Editor's note: For the latest flu coverage, visit

Fourteen more children have died of flu, and pediatric hospitalization rates are higher than usual, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In total, 68 children have died this season, and about two-thirds had an influenza B virus. These viruses have been predominant this season and are known to cause serious illness in children. However, in recent weeks, the rate of influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 has picked up and surpassed influenza B/Victoria viruses.

Children ages 4 and under have been hospitalized at a rate of 48.8 per 100,000 children this season. This age group has the second-highest hospitalization rate. The overall population has been hospitalized at a rate of 29.7 per 100,000, which is about average for this time of year.

While overall hospitalization rates are normal, outpatient visits for flu are high. About 5.7% of outpatient clinic visits were for flu during the week ending Jan. 25, up from 5.1% the week before.

Flu activity is high in 41 states and widespread in every state except Hawaii. Viral activity is both high and widespread in Puerto Rico.

The CDC estimates about 19 million people have gotten sick, 180,000 have been hospitalized and 10,000 have died.

Health officials are reminding physicians to treat high-risk patients with antivirals promptly. They also recommend everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated.

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