Twenty Children Dead in US Flu Epidemic

By Vickie Frantz, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
January 15, 2013; 5:01 AM
Share |

An agressive flu strain has spread quickly across the country. Forty-seven states have widespread cases, twenty children are dead and flu cases haven't peaked yet in some states.

Dr. David Rosenberg, a pediatric pulmonologist interviewed by Good Morning America said, "It's been an epidemic and there've been a lot of admissions from the flu, more than ever."

Stats: Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality

According to the CDC, in the previous week some key flu activity indicators continued to rise, while others fell. It's too soon to say exactly what this means; but some regions may have peaked, while other parts of the country are still on the upswing.

Forty-seven states reported widespread geographic influenza activity for the week between December 30, 2012 and January 5, 2013. This is an increase from 41 states in the previous week.

This is an increase in cases since last week when the percentage of positive flu cases nationwide was 29.6 percent. The current baseline of outpatient visits for influenza-like illnesses is 5.6 percent which is above the national baseline of 2.2 percent.

The national baseline is determined by calculating the mean percentage of patient visits to health care providers for influenza-like illnesses (a temperature of 100 degrees F [37.8 degrees C] or greater and a cough and/or a sore throat without a known cause other than influenza) during non-influenza weeks for the previous three seasons and adding two standard deviations.

This map represents the CDC reported influenza-like illness levels by state for the week ending on Jan. 5.

The CDC began recording pediatric deaths in 2004, following 153 pediatric deaths reported during the 2003-04 influenza season. At the time of this report, 20 pediatric deaths have been attributed to influenza. The total pediatric deaths attributed to influenza last season were 34.

The CDC closely monitors influenza cases nationwide from October through mid-May. However, there is no official period of time determined to be the flu season. Cases of influenza in the U.S. typically peak during January.

The best way to prevent infection by influenza is to get a flu shot.



Comments

Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News

  • Death Toll Rises From Hiroshima Landslide

    August 21, 2014; 1:30 PM ET

    Rescue efforts are underway in Hiroshima, Japan, after several landslides buried people and caused severe damage on Wednesday morning, local time.

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High N/A
Low N/A
Precip N/A

WeatherWhys®

This Day In Weather History

Pueblo, CO (1984)
State fair was closed during vicious hailstorm. Nine people were hurt, one seriously. Damage totalled $40 million, and 500 light bulbs were broken by the hail.

Thunder Bay/ Lake Huron, MI (1863)
"One of the most violent hurricanes (wrong name) experienced by mariners for many years swept over Lake Huron, doing extensive damage to vessels." Ships lost sails and had masts taken off 30 feet above deck.

Rochester, MN (1883)
A tornado killed 31 people and destroyed 1351 dwellings.