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Flu cases surging across US; pediatric deaths are on the rise

The United States is witnessing a significant rise in flu activity, with most areas reporting an increase in cases. The latest surveillance report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights a 16% jump in influenza-positive tests last week.

This upsurge is accompanied by elevated outpatient respiratory illnesses, which have been above the national baseline for eight consecutive weeks. Public health laboratories have identified 875 influenza viruses, and there have been six reported influenza-associated pediatric deaths recently. This alarming development brings the total pediatric fatalities for the 2023-2024 flu season to 20.

The CDC’s report further notes that several states, including Alabama, Georgia, and New York, are experiencing “very high” levels of respiratory illness. Additionally, nearly 20 other states are categorized as having “high” levels.

This widespread increase in flu cases signals a concerning trend for public health, emphasizing the need for heightened awareness and preventive measures against influenza. The current flu season is proving to be notably severe, affecting a broad geographic area and leading to a growing number of hospitalizations and deaths, particularly among children.