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CDC: Pediatric flu deaths rise to 54 :

January 24, 2020

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Fifteen more children have died of flu, bringing the total to 54, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About two-thirds of the deaths have been linked to influenza B viruses, which have been widespread this season and are known to cause serious illness.

There was a slight uptick in the rate of people visiting outpatient clinics for flu from 4.7% to 5% during the week ending Jan. 18. That figure spiked to 7% in late December and has been declining since that time. Children and young adults have made up half of positive flu tests at public health laboratories.

CDC experts said the overall hospitalization rate, 24.1 people per 100,000, is typical for this time of year. They estimate about 140,000 people have been hospitalized and 8,200 have died.

Flu activity is high in 35 states, Puerto Rico and New York City and widespread in 48 states and Puerto Rico. In recent weeks, the rate of influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 has been similar to influenza B/Victoria.

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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