9 pediatric flu deaths, 1,400+ hospitalizations reported in one week

Nine influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to the CDC in the week ending Feb. 11, bringing the total number of pediatric flu deaths to 29 for the season so far, according to the agency's latest FluView update.

Additionally, the total number of lab-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations grew from 6,804 to 8,222 in one week, marking a 1,418-person increase. The cumulative overall flu hospitalization rate was 29.4 per 100,000 people in the week ending Feb. 11, up from 26.3 per 100,000 the week prior.

Outpatient visits for influenza-like illness also continue to increase. For the week ending Feb. 11, 5.2 percent of patient visits were due to influenza-like illness, above the national baseline of 2.2 percent and up from 4.6 percent the week prior.

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Twenty-eight states experienced high levels of influenza-like illness activity: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming.

This year's flu vaccine is effective 48 percent of the time, according to the CDC, which is in line with the vaccine efficacy of the 2015-16 flu season (47 percent). No resistance to common antivirals has been identified among the circulating strains.

In a report issued Friday, the CDC said flu activity "is expected to continue for several more weeks."

More articles on the flu:
How effective is this season's flu vaccine? 6 key points
9 Texas schools close due to influenza outbreaks
Peer pressure and fear of the flu can boost hand hygiene: 6 survey findings

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