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10:49 AM

KCTV 5: Why the number of child deaths from flu is up so much this year

By Kaci Jones

This current flu season is on track to be one of the worst in recent history.

Flu is now widespread in almost every single state, and nearly 10 million people have become ill so far; 4,800 people have died, while pediatric deaths are double what they were at this time last year, with 32 reported fatalities so far.

What are the more serious complications for children?

According to the Director of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Mercy, Doctor Angela Myers, this is the first time in 27 years the type B virus is dominating earlier in the season, one teenager has died from the flu at Children’s Mercy.

“Children that die from influenza are children that are not vaccinated," Doctor Myers said.

The latest data from Children’s Mercy shows in one week, doctors diagnosed 143 type A cases of the flu and 268 type B cases. Doctor Myers says one shot of a small vail could help keep your kids out of those numbers.

“We know that the vaccine does not prevent you from getting influenza 100% of the time, but it’s around 70% vaccine efficacy. However, it does prevent hospitalization and it prevents death," Doctor Myers said.


See the full story via KCTV 5

Learn more about Infectious Diseases at Children's Mercy