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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.

Go deeper

How "naked ballots" could upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Trump signs in Olyphant, Penn. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

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