CDC chief: 85% of children who've died this flu season were unvaccinated

The majority — 85 percent — of this influenza season's 30 pediatric flu deaths occurred in children who did not receive a flu shot, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, told Reuters.

The predominant strain in this year's flu season has been influenza A H3N2, which tends to be more deadly in young children and the elderly than its influenza A H1N1 counterpart and influenza B strains. While experts estimate the H3N2 component of this season's flu vaccine is only about 30 percent effective against the viral strain, it can still reduce the duration and severity of a flu infection.

Dr. Fitzgerald told Reuters citizens should frequently wash their hands, avoid contact with infected individuals and "take every advantage" to protect themselves from influenza.

"My message is, if you haven't gotten a vaccine, please get a vaccine," Dr. Fitzgerald told Reuters. "Also, please get your children vaccinated."

To learn more about the 2017-18 flu season, click here.

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