Pediatric flu deaths double in one week

Still time to immunize against the flu.

Ten flu-associated pediatric deaths were reported to the CDC during the week of Jan. 5 to 11." -- Dr. Robert P. Blereau, a Centers for Disease Control Sentinel Physician.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an influenza article by local Centers for Disease Control Sentinel Physician Dr. Robert P. Blereau of Morgan City.

Louisiana continues to rank among the 11 states reporting the highest flu-like illnesses, nine of 11 being in the south central United State, including all our border states.
The CDC states the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and flu increased and moved above the epidemic threshold for the first time this season.
Ten flu-associated pediatric deaths were reported to the CDC during the week of Jan. 5 to 11, which doubled the flu related pediatric deaths in the 2013-14 flu season, bringing the total to 20 nationwide.
No pediatric flu deaths were reported during the same week over the previous three flu seasons.
Most deaths were due to Type A flu.
The CDC received 3,745 reports of flu-associated hospitalizations for all age so far this flu season.
The highest hospitalization rates are typically for those over 65 years and under 5 years of age.
This flu season is unusual with 61 percent of those hospitalized being between 18 and 64 years old. The vast majority are type A flu and sensitive to oseltamivir and zanamivir.
An average of 36,000 deaths are attributed to the flu in the U.S. annually.
The flu is usually caused by one flu virus. Although your body produces protection for that virus, it does not protect against the many other flu viruses circulating. So you can get the flu again.
The flu season runs through May.
The flu shot or nasal mist is the only prevention from getting the flu and are 60 to 70 percent effective.
If you have not gotten your flu vaccine, even if you had the flu, don’t wait. Get it now.

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