Despite previous reports that the worst of flu season was behind us, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now warning parents that the epidemic is only going to get worse.
Though the United States has been dealing with flu season for the past several months, the CDC says that we are only about halfway through, and it could continue to hit children especially hard.
Last week, seven more flu-related child deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 37 so far. According to The New York Times, Dr. Dan Jernigan of the CDC’s Influenza Division estimates the total pediatric deaths could reach almost 150 as early as the end of the March, and he believes that the current death toll of 37 is actually higher when taking into account unreported deaths.
“It does take time to get [the death numbers] to the systems where they’re collected,” Dr. Jernigan told BBC. “Sometimes, tragically, children die outside of the hospitals.”
The CDC does not have numbers for flu-related adult deaths, as it is not considered a reportable disease in every state.
This year, the majority of those suffering from the flu are dealing with a strain of virus called H3N2, which can be especially severe when it impacts children and senior citizens.
According to the Washington Post, the body takes about two weeks to process the flu vaccine, so doctors recommend getting it as soon as possible if you haven’t already. If you or your children are experiencing flu-like symptoms, make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
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Photos: Laura Caseley for LittleThings; Flickr / Travis
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