Feb 16, 2018

84 kids have died from flu this season so far

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Data: Centers for Disease Control; Chart: Axios Visuals

The latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates the U.S. flu season remains "elevated" and deaths continue to rise. There were 84 flu-related pediatric deaths recorded between Oct. 1 and Feb. 10 — up from 63 announced the prior week.

Reminder: On Thursday, federal health officials urged people to get a flu shot, which is estimated to be 36% effective overall and 59% effective for children younger than 9. They say roughly three-fourths of children who died did not receive a vaccination.

The numbers, for the week ending Feb. 10, released today:

  • Influenza Type A remains dominant although the infection rate appears to be dropping from the prior week. Of Type A, the more deadly H3N2 strain was 78% and H1N1 was 18%.
  • Influenza Type B appears to be infecting more people (36% of all infections) during the most recent week.
  • The geographic spread of influenza in Puerto Rico and 48 states was reported as widespread; Oregon reported regional activity; the District of Columbia, Guam and Hawaii reported local activity; and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported no activity.

Go deeper: Why this flu season is particularly bad.

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China hunts cause of mysterious pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan

Wuhan, China. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The cause of an outbreak of pneumonia in China that's sickened at least 59 people in the city of Wuhan remains a mystery, although Chinese officials say it is not the deadly SARS virus and doesn't appear to spread quickly between people.

Why it matters: There's no reason for Americans to be concerned at this point, but the source needs to be determined to halt its spread, says Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Wuhan, which has a population of 19 million, is the capital of Hubei province, home to 58 million people.

Go deeperArrowJan 6, 2020

Measles-related death toll tops 6,000 in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Deaths from measles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo surpassed 6,000, with children over the age of 5 most vulnerable to the infectious disease, new data from the World Health Organization showed Tuesday.

Why it matters: About 310,000 suspected measles cases, one-fourth of which are in kids over age 5, have been reported since the beginning of 2019. Vaccinations for children have made headway in some parts of the country, but public health officials are still trying to keep the disease at bay.

Go deeper: DRC health leader discusses what's being done to fight Ebola

68 reported dead from vaping-related lung illness

Photo: Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images

68 people have died from a lung injury associated with e-cigarette use in 29 states and the District of Columbia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports as of Feb. 18.

What's new: Because of the consistent declines in new EVALI cases since Sept. 2019, as well as the identification of vitamin E acetate as a primary cause of EVALI, Tuesday's report will be the final CDC update on the number of hospitalized EVALI cases and deaths nationally.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 25, 2020 - Health