Spreading flu kills 19 children in US

Published: January 20, 2019 20:22:35 | Updated: January 24, 2019 13:34:45

A child patient suffers from flu. Internet photo

A total of 19 flu-associated child deaths have been reported and more than 3,500 have been hospitalised for influenza this winter in the United States.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday that in the week ending last Saturday, 3.1 per cent of people saw doctors for flu-like illness, above the national baseline of 2.2 per cent.

Three more children were reported to die of influenza during that week. Two were associated with an influenza A pdm09 virus, the most frequently identified influenza virus type this year. Another one associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed, according to CDC.

Nearly 99 per cent of 752 influenza-positive tests reported to CDC were influenza A viruses, among which nearly 90 per cent were H1N1 pdm09 viruses, reports Xinhua.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Jan 7 an increase of influenza activity across the Northern Hemisphere, with the H1N1 strain dominating in North America and Eastern Asia.

The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza in the United States was 6.9 per cent during the week ending Jan 5, which was below the epidemic threshold of 7.0 per cent at that time every year, according to CDC.

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