The CDC reports that 29 children are now dead from the seasonal flu, which is widespread in 30 states. Over 5,000 people have been hospitalized.
The flu season started early this year, leading to reports of vaccination shortages. Although this has been an issue in some isolated areas, the CDC reports that they still have around 135 million doses available. They are confident that they will not run out. Although the flue is widespread in 30 states, it is decreasing slightly in some areas.
As reported by NBC News, the two previous flu seasons were mild in comparison. This year the flu has been harsh and widespread. While the CDC considers 7.3 deaths caused by the flu to be an epidemic. Last week 8.3 percent of all deaths were reportedly caused by the influenza. The results are calculated on a weekly basis.
Although 29 children are now dead from the flu, the CDC warns that the elderly are at highest risk for complications. They urge anyone over the age of 65 to get a flu shot and avoid spending time with friends or family who are sick.
Patients suffering from the flu can get some relief from an antiviral drug called Tamiflu. The medication may lessen the severity of the flu if taken early enough. Tamiflu has worked with the FDA to make a liquid form of the medication more readily available. The liquid form can be mixed with sugar and a variety of flavors, making it easier for children to take.
As reported by USA Today, the CDC will offer a new vaccine for the next flu season. Historically the vaccines were not ideal as they were grown using chicken eggs. This caused problems, especially for children with egg allergies. The new vaccines will be grown on cells rather than eggs. This will make the vaccine available to the 600,000 people, including children, who were unable to use it in previous years.
The CDC encourages vaccinations as they may have spared the lives of the 29 children who have died from the flu.