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Flu Seasons Worse Than Expected For Children, CDC Reports

NBC NEWS (3/7) reported “at least 34 million Americans have been sickened with the flu so far this season and an estimated 20,000 people have died from it, with the illness taking a higher-than-expected toll on children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.” Rates of hospitalization “among school children and young adults are higher than in recent seasons, and rates among kids ages 4 or younger are the highest on record at this point in the season – even higher than during the second wave of the 2009 flu pandemic.” Even though, “thankfully, coronavirus has largely been sparing children, for reasons that aren’t clear,” the same coronavirus precautions “can help protect them against the flu as well, such as good hand hygiene, coughing into the elbow, and staying home when sick.”

Dr. Henry Bernstein, a professor of pediatrics at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in Hempstead, NY, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, said, “The influenza virus is causing significant morbidity and mortality across the country. Activity is still widespread, and it’s been particularly harsh on children.”

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