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13:28 PM

Fox 4: 2018 could be a record year for the flu

Dr. Mary Anne Jackson
By Shannon O'Brien

The flu is racing through communities almost faster than doctors can keep up.

Doctors at Children’s Mercy said it could be a record year in Kansas City for flu diagnoses in children.

Children between six months and two years old seem to be the biggest target for the flu. When they get sick, watch out because it spreads fast.

“One thing we can unequivocally say about it is influenza is a bad disease and particularly this year,” said infectious disease doctor Mary Anne Jackson.

Children’s Mercy has seen more than 900 cases of the flu so far. Jackson estimated at this rate, this year could rank as one of the worst flu seasons ever.

“Just in the last week, we have gone from 13 to 20 child deaths in the U.S.," Jackson said. "To have seven deaths recorded in the last week, you know this curve can go up steeply, and we are probably going to exceed the average of 100 kids who die each year."

Although there are no child deaths reported in Kansas City, doctors at Children’s Mercy have seen children with the flu on top of other serious diseases.

“And that is complicated pneumonia, complicated sinus infections, blood stream infections and so we are seeing diseases that can be life-threatening, vision-threatening and that are potentially preventable,” Jackson said.

“Children don’t wash their hands, and they are face-to-face like nobody’s business. This is true -- the old saying that day care centers are like petri dishes -- because bugs can spread very easily, very quickly.”


See the full story via Fox 4

Read more about staying healthy during flu season.

Learn more about the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Mercy