Another 22 Children Reported Dead From Flu

However there are signs horrible flu season is finally peaking
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2018 12:41 PM CST
Delisah Revell holds her 10-month-old daughter Kelce who is being treated in the emergency room for the flu at Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston, Ga., Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

(Newser) – Another 22 children have been reported killed by the flu, and experts say that, despite signs of slowing, this flu season—the worst in a decade—is still far from over, USA Today reports. According to CNN, 84 children have died from the flu since October. That's two fewer than at this point in the 2015 flu season, which ended up killing 148 children. While the CDC reported Thursday that this year's flu vaccine was only 36% effective overall, it was more effective—59%—in children, which CDC acting director Dr. Anne Schuchat says is "better than we expected." So far, three out of four children killed this flu season hadn't received a flu vaccination. Schuchat says parents should still get their children vaccinated even though we're months into the flu season.

While the flu is still widespread in 48 states— Hawaii and Oregon are the exceptions—it's possible this flu season has peaked. The rate of people seeing a doctor for flu-like symptoms decreased from 7.7% to 7.5% from the previous week. It's the first week since November that flu activity has decreased, the AP reports. "It would be too early to say that we’ve peaked," CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund says. "We need to see more data, but that is something we are definitely hopeful for." Nearly 10% of all deaths in the US in mid-February were related to the flu and pneumonia. A 39-year-old man hospitalized with both this week in Missouri says he thought he was going to die: "My lungs felt like they were going to blow out of my esophagus." (Inside the six-day decline of a teacher diagnosed with the flu.)

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