U.S. pediatric deaths pass 100 from flu season

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported six more pediatric deaths in its most recent surveillance report, bringing the number of this season's flu deaths up to 105 among children.

Five of the deaths resulted from influenza B and occurred between late January and the middle of March. One death was a result of the 2009 H1N1 virus and occurred approximately one month ago, CIDRAP News reports.

Flu indicators continued to drop in the most recent CDC report, though virus activity remains significant in multiple parts of the country. The percentage of clinic visits for influenza like illness dropped to the baseline level of 2.2 percent in the week ending March 22. Overall deaths from flu and pneumonia stayed steady just above the epidemic threshold at 7.6 percent.

Hospitalizations from influenza rose from 39.6 per 100,000 population to 40.6 per 100,000. The promotion of influenza B samples rose to 72 percent of all positive flu samples reported and eight of the CDC's 10 regions reported more influenza B than influenza A.

According to the Pan American Health Organization, Influenza B is also the dominant strain in Canada, which is experiencing expected levels of influenza for this time of year.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Europe has a slightly higher percentage of influenza B detections than influenza A detections. The continent's percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for flu dropped from 54 percent to 46 percent in a March 22 report, according to CIDRAP News.