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Flu now blamed for 84 child deaths this season, CDC says

The deaths of 22 more children from flu-related causes were reported Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and...

Posted: Feb 17, 2018 8:57 AM
Updated: Feb 17, 2018 8:57 AM

The deaths of 22 more children from flu-related causes were reported Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its weekly surveillance report.

Those deaths bring the total number of children reported to have died to 84 since October when the current flu season began. Three out of four children who died from the flu had not gotten a flu vaccine, the acting director of the CDC said in a Thursday news conference.

3 out of 4 children who died from the flu had not gotten a flu vaccine

Widespread activity continues through 48 states

"We continue to recommend parents get their children vaccinated even though it's late in the season," said Dr. Anne Schuchat. The season may continue for several more weeks, she added.

Caused by viruses, flu is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death.

The vaccine's performance in children was "better than we expected," said Schuchat following release of the CDC's midseason report of estimated vaccine effectiveness rates.

Overall, the vaccine was found to be just 36% effective against circulating flu strains, however, in children, the effectiveness rate was 59%.

This means a vaccinated child has reduced his or her risk of getting sick and going to the doctor's office by more than half.

CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said that flu activity is still high, however it did not increase significantly over the last week.

"While this may mean that we've peaked, we won't know until know more until we see the data for the coming weeks," said Nordlund.

Still, Schuchat noted that levels of flu-related illness across the nation are reaching peaks observed during the H1N1 pandemic season in 2009, though this year's flu is not pandemic.

"Hospitalization rates are significantly higher than what we've seen for this time of year since our current tracking system began almost a decade ago," Schuchat added.

Hospitalization and illness

Flu-related hospitalizations rose to about 68 people out of every 100,000 in the sixth week of 2018 from about 60 out of every 100,000 last week, the CDC estimated in its weekly surveillance report.

A total of 19,398 laboratory-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations have been reported between the season's start on October 1, 2017 through February 10, 2018, according to the CDC.

Meanwhile, during the sixth week of the year, 7.5% of people who visited their doctors complained of flu-like illness. This high rate of flu-related illness occurred across most of the nation, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and New York City, the CDC said.

Among adults, the proportion of pneumonia- and flu-related deaths fell from 10.1% of all deaths occurring during the week ending January 20 to 9.8% of all deaths for the week ending January 27 (these data are always two weeks delayed). This rate, however, is higher than the anticipated 7.3% pneumonia- or flu-related deaths estimated for the week.

In 48 states, flu activity is "still widespread," said Nordlund. "Hawaii and Oregon are still the outliers."

Circulating flu strains this season are a mix of H3N2, H1N1 and B viruses. H3N2 strains are continuing to be dominant during the sixth week of 2018 as they have throughout the season, which began in October. H3N2 commonly leads to more severe illness and more hospitalizations, according to Schuchat.

The CDC confirmed 18,716 new infections for the week ending February 10, bringing the cumulative total for season to 178,040.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 448268

Reported Deaths: 6013
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin931011480
Ramsey40016739
Dakota33072340
Anoka30999364
Washington20164228
Stearns17871187
St. Louis13690241
Scott1195496
Wright11614104
Olmsted1048475
Sherburne821365
Carver694836
Clay653280
Rice606868
Kandiyohi554371
Blue Earth541033
Crow Wing482774
Otter Tail457167
Chisago452732
Benton420186
Winona389646
Douglas374166
Nobles370846
Mower365529
Goodhue347958
Polk328658
McLeod325345
Morrison311744
Beltrami310347
Lyon302236
Becker284939
Itasca284543
Isanti282841
Carlton280043
Steele27379
Pine266713
Freeborn245321
Todd231730
Nicollet224636
Brown215134
Mille Lacs214246
Le Sueur210015
Cass207623
Meeker199733
Waseca189316
Wabasha17083
Martin170026
Roseau165416
Hubbard149338
Redwood139727
Renville137539
Houston135913
Dodge13474
Chippewa131332
Cottonwood127218
Fillmore12355
Wadena120116
Rock110212
Sibley10857
Aitkin108433
Watonwan10668
Faribault105916
Pennington99215
Kanabec97818
Pipestone94423
Yellow Medicine93714
Murray8815
Jackson85610
Swift83418
Pope7385
Marshall70215
Stevens7018
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake63715
Wilkin6259
Koochiching59610
Lincoln4841
Big Stone4573
Unassigned43768
Grant4298
Norman4248
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37219
Red Lake3174
Traverse2503
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 305606

Reported Deaths: 4278
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45754449
Linn17795275
Scott15444163
Black Hawk13773236
Woodbury13016175
Johnson1211749
Dubuque11387150
Pottawattamie8992112
Dallas888671
Story869434
Webster469771
Cerro Gordo466768
Sioux455157
Clinton450361
Warren443938
Marshall427761
Buena Vista393429
Muscatine390477
Des Moines381841
Plymouth350368
Wapello344198
Jasper321959
Lee317130
Marion304952
Jones271349
Henry264330
Carroll255434
Bremer245048
Crawford231022
Boone218417
Washington217632
Benton209444
Mahaska193136
Jackson192031
Tama187757
Dickinson186026
Delaware173736
Kossuth173644
Clay168820
Wright164824
Fayette162322
Hamilton160029
Buchanan159923
Winneshiek155719
Harrison155162
Hardin154729
Cedar153219
Clayton151448
Butler148224
Page144715
Floyd139636
Cherokee139027
Mills136416
Lyon135332
Poweshiek132724
Hancock130224
Allamakee127928
Iowa125422
Calhoun12279
Grundy121226
Jefferson120724
Madison12039
Winnebago119429
Mitchell116234
Louisa115030
Cass113341
Chickasaw111612
Sac111215
Emmet110831
Appanoose110538
Union108822
Humboldt105519
Guthrie103024
Shelby102926
Franklin102418
Unassigned9310
Palo Alto9079
Montgomery85622
Keokuk85026
Howard84219
Monroe81218
Clarke7957
Pocahontas77611
Ida74630
Greene6927
Davis69121
Adair68820
Lucas6508
Monona64016
Osceola6409
Worth6113
Taylor5949
Fremont5126
Van Buren49712
Decatur4894
Ringgold4389
Audubon4158
Wayne41421
Adams2963
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