The year 2017-18 witnesses a record high child flu deaths, says CDC

A record number of kids have died due to influenza in this year’s past flu season compared to any other non-pandemic year, as per a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

Reportedly, 80% of the 172 paediatric deaths linked to the 2017-18 flu season are among children who did not receive flu vaccinations, said the officials and around half of the deaths were among children who already had a pre-existing heath condition. Most of the children died in a week of contracting the symptoms of influenza. Compared to the deaths seen in 2012-13, the current figure is the highest ever recorded.

Alicia Bird, epidemiologist in the influenza division of the CDC said that the figure is expected to climb further as the system still requires further investigation in the cases.

Bird further said that although the flu season has got over, it is still likely to stay around in the summer months. A child died in May due to influenza B, a kind of strain which moves around later on in the season, but Bird said that a diversity of the virus still persists in the United States but at a low level.

This year, several children were hospitalised reportedly as they had high flu symptoms. However, the CDC report does not include the pandemics such as the H1N1 swine flu which struck in 2009 and took the lives of 282 children.

As per a report, the flu kills 12,000 to 49,000 people each year. The most recent deaths due to the flu was partially because of the vaccines that were ineffective but the researchers still are not sure about the exact reason of record number deaths this past flu season. However, the one thing they are sure about is that an annual flu vaccine can surely make a difference to prevent illness due to influenza.

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