Officials Say End of This Very Long Flu Season Is in Sight

Meanwhile number of kids killed by flu this winter rises to 114
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2018 6:09 PM CST
In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

(Newser) – Seventeen children were reported killed by the flu this week, bringing the total this winter to 114, more than the past two flu seasons, USA Today reports. The CDC gave an update on the worst flu season in a decade on Friday. Most of the children who have died this winter had not received the flu vaccine. Health officials say it's still not too late to get vaccinated, according to NPR.

While the number of child deaths is alarming, officials say this long flu season is finally on its way out. The flu arrived early, felt like it peaked in January, and then just kept getting worse, the AP reports. “It looks like we did peak in early February,” CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund says. “The activity is still high, but it looks like it is starting to come down." This week, flu-related symptoms accounted for only 5% of all doctor visits. That's down from 6.4% last week and 7.7%—the highest level since the 2009 swine flu pandemic—a few weeks ago. Officials say the flu season could stick around through mid-April.

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