Arkansas Child Flu Deaths Grows to Five

New findings support “wider use of influenza vaccination in heart failure patients.”

New findings support “wider use of influenza vaccination in heart failure patients.”Shutterstock

Meanwhile, information reported by doctor's offices and hospitals indicated the number of new cases continued declining.

The flu season runs through May. All five were from New Castle County.

The number of flu-related hospitalizations and deaths since last fall have been off-the-charts high in Oklahoma, which is the reason for the move to offer the immunizations at no cost. "Having said that, the incidents of flu right now even having gone down is still higher than it was at its peak previous year".

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The CDC said last month that the flu vaccine has only been 36 percent effective. Since October, 23,324 people have been hospitalized for influenza-associated complications.

Three other Arkansas children or teenagers have also died from the flu this season, including two others who were age 5-18 and one child younger than 5.

The flu has claimed five more lives in Delaware. And the season could end up lasting longer than expected, Haselow said. Deaths from the flu or pneumonia are going down, too.

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Nineteen more cases were reported last week, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, raising the total to 169 deaths during the current influenza season which began in October.

The flu season peaked nationwide in mid-February, with 7.4 percent of medical visits attributed to the flu, making it the worst flu season in the United States since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness, spread by a virus.

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Simpson said the best ways to prevent the flu from spreading are by getting a flu shot, washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and staying home when you are sick.

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