CDC Flu Wrap

The Center for Disease Control has reported 35 flu-related pediatric deaths across 19 states during the week ending November 21, which brings the total to 301 cases so far in 2009. There were 90 in 2008, 77 in 2007, 43 in 2006 and 45 in 2005.

New Mexico has the highest number of deaths among children with eight cases. Florida and Illinois follow with three deaths each. Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Texas, and South Carolina have two deaths each. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, Colorado, Washington, California, Indiana, Kentucky, and New York have one death each.

The New Mexico Department of Health website reports that as of November 25, the state has 40 laboratory-confirmed influenza deaths across all ages.

The seasonal influenza is a highly contagious disease and the virus can easily spread by either inhaling infected droplets in the air or coming in direct contact with an infected person's secretions (through kissing, sharing of objects like handkerchiefs, eating utensil, etc.)