The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that the 2017-2018 flu season saw 172 children die from influenza—the most recent being just a week ago. It’s the deadliest flu season ever for children, a record made all the more tragic by the fact that 80% of the children who died were not vaccinated against the flu, according to the CDC. In addition to the flu being especially severe, it remained active in every state for longer than usual simultaneously, as opposed to moving from region to region as in years past. Incidence among all Americans, regardless of age, remained at or above baseline level for 19 straight weeks, with elevated pneumonia and influenza mortality persisting for 16 weeks. The CDC estimates that 5.29 million cases of flu were averted among patients who did get vaccinated, also preventing 2.64 million medical visits and 84,700 influenza-associated hospitalizations. Bear this information in mind when discussing the value of flu vaccination with patients as the next season approaches.
Last Flu Season Was the Deadliest Ever for Children—and Most Victims Weren’t Vaccinated