Feb 21, 2020 - Health

More than 100 children have died from the flu so far this season

Influenza vaccine. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

105 children have reportedly died in the U.S. from the flu, the highest so far this season, per data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Health officials typically treat a high rate of seniors, a vulnerable population during flu season, but this year, children and young adults have been more susceptible.

What's happening: The influenza B strain, which tends to be more common in children, has caused the majority of pediatric deaths.

  • The strain carries gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting, which can influence one's ability to take antivirals to shorten the flu's duration, CNN reports.

Of note: A report out Thursday showed preliminary data that the flu vaccine for the 2019-20 season has reduced doctor visits by 45% overall, and 55% for children. This is consistent with previous seasons, the CDC says.

  • CDC officials indicate it's not too late to get the flu vaccine as it could mitigate severe symptoms, even if one ends up infected with the virus.

Go deeper: Why we panic about coronavirus, but not the flu

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There's not going to be a coronavirus shutdown — yet

A sign outside the Tokyo National Museum in Japan. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

We still don't know a lot about the coronavirus, and those unknowns make even the best contingency planning a lot harder.

The big picture: We don't know how widely the virus is spreading undetected, which makes it more important for leaders to map out worst-case scenarios. But experts say we're also not at a place where closing schools, requiring telecommuting or canceling public events are imminent or practical.

Go deeperArrowMar 1, 2020 - Health

How to make cities better for kids

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Many of America's cities are gaining population, but the number of school-aged children is dwindling as families opt for the suburbs.

Why it matters: A growing body of research shows the strong link between the environment where kids grow up and their ability to thrive as adults. Yet the gap between the haves and have-nots is becoming more pronounced in city centers, driving middle-class families out.

Brace yourself for a coronavirus outbreak

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Public-health officials’ warnings about the coronavirus are sounding increasingly urgent, with one top CDC official asking the public yesterday "to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad."

Reality check: Other administration officials, including President Trump himself, were more subdued in their assessments. But underneath those tonal differences, the reality of the coronavirus is the same: It spreads quickly and has already spread to many countries, making it likely to start spreading here, too.

Go deeperArrowFeb 26, 2020 - Health