Is this year’s flu a major killer or an annoyance?/ CDC

Probably the best data on the severity of yearly influenza epidemics comes from deaths in children, because there is mandatory reporting of each death as related to influenza.  Flu-related deaths in adults are reported as due to flu (very few), pneumonia (more) or underlying chronic medical illnesses that contributed to death during or after a bout of flu.  So what CDC does is estimate adult deaths, instead of counting them.

This is a bad flu season in terms of the number of people affected, since few of us had prior immunity to this year’s influenza A H3N2 strain.  But at this point in time (and I think this flu epidemic is starting to die out) it looks like the number of pediatric deaths is about average.

UPDATE:  As of February 5, CDC reports there have been 53 pediatric deaths associated with influenza in the entire US this flu season.  This is about average.  The US has about 74 million children.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm

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