CDC Flu Wrap

The Centers for Disease Control has reported 16 flu-related deaths among children across nine states during the week ending December 5.

Minnesota has the most number with four cases of flu-related mortality. California follows with three, while Missouri and Arizona have two flu-related pediatric deaths each. Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, New Mexico, Alabama have only one case each.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported that during week 48 (November 29 to December 5), influenza activity in the state continues to decrease. Only one school reported an outbreak of flu-like illness (there was no single outbreak for week 47) and flu-like illness visits to outpatient clinics also went down.

According to the CDC, there have been 334 flu-related pediatric deaths thus far in 2009. This marks a five percent increase from the previous 318 deaths reported for the week ending November 28. The last biggest increase was for the week ending November 7 with 245 deaths from the previous 210-a 16 percent jump.

There were 90 in 2008, 77 in 2007, 43 in 2006 and 45 in 2005.

Children are especially susceptible to flu and when the virus strikes, there are symptoms that parents should look out for: a high-grade fever up to 104° F, chills and shaking, extreme tiredness, headache and body aches, dry and hacking cough, sore throat, and vomiting and belly pain.