7 pediatric flu deaths, 1,300+ flu hospitalizations reported in one week

Seven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported in the week ending Jan. 28, bringing the total number of pediatric flu deaths to 15 for the season, according to the CDC's latest FluView update.

Additionally, from Jan. 21 to Jan. 28, there were 1,366 new confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations, bringing the total number of people hospitalized with the flu to 5,683. The overall flu hospitalization rate was 20.3 per 100,000 people as of Jan. 28.

Outpatient visits for influenza-like illness also continue to rise as the season progresses. During the week ending Jan. 28, 3.9 percent of outpatient visits were due to influenza-like illness, above the baseline of 2.2 percent and up 0.5 percentage points from the week prior.

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Some states are seeing more outpatient visits for flu than others — 15 states experienced high influenza-like illness activity during the week ending Jan. 28. Those states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming. The week prior, just 10 states reported high flu-like illness activity.

Most of the influenza viruses the CDC has antigenically characterized have been covered by this year's flu vaccine:

  • Influenza A H1N1: 100 percent covered
  • Influenza A H3N2: 96.5 percent covered
  • Influenza B Victoria lineage: 90.6 percent covered
  • Influenza B Yamagata lineage: 100 percent covered

The majority of circulating flu viruses are susceptible to the three main antiviral medications, according to the CDC.

More articles on the flu:
Scientists create influenza breathalyzer
Mandatory flu shot policies may be based on flawed research, study suggests
WHO warns of possible avian flu pandemic

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