Number of flu deaths in Washington continues to climb

Laverne Higgins
February 4, 2018

Sixteen more children have died in a flu season that's recorded 53 child deaths and has seen hospitalization rates at their highest in almost a decade, federal health officials said Friday.

There is widespread flu activity in every state across the country, except OR and Hawaii. A total of 53 child deaths have been reported so far this year.

CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund tells CNN that as bad as it is, the wave of flu cases hasn't yet peaked.

Nearly 12,000 people in the United States have been hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza since the season started, the CDC reported.

According to the CDC report, out of every 100,000 people in the general population, about 51 have been admitted into the hospital for the flu - surpassing the 2014-2015 season rate. In that last severe season, an estimated 56,000 people, including 148 children, died. The local coroner is now investigating her death.

Pakistan's neighbor, China, has also been battling a flu outbreak this winter.

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So far, the flu has killed a 5-year-old boy in Hong Kong on January 24 and a 4-year-old girl in Macao on January 25.

"We're seeing deaths increase in children and in adults", said Dr. Anne Schuchat is acting director of the Centers for Disease Control. 9 thousand in just the last week, . and 65 flu related fatalities.

This year's virus - known as H3N2 - is particularly hard, health experts say.

In the meantime, the CDC continues to recommend the flu vaccine, not only to prevent the flu but potentially lessen its severity, Schuchat said.

The United States is now 10 weeks into the current flu season, which is expected to last for at least several more weeks.

Ways to avoid becoming infected with the flu include being vaccinated - which is suggested by the World Health Organization as the most effective measure against the flu - as well as washing hands and wearing masks.

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