Number of children who have died from flu-related causes rises to 84: CDC

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.

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