Only one influenza-related pediatric death has occurred during this year’s flu season, according to recent data released from the US Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC).
This death was associated with an influenza B virus with no lineage determined and occurred during the week ending November 28, the CDC’s FluView report says. Overall, seasonal influenza activity remains lower than usual for this time of year throughout the United States. Flu-related hospitalizations are also down for this time of the year, with a total of 61 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations reported during the current season.
Nationwide, just 1.6% of patient visits to healthcare providers were attributed to influenza-like illnesses. This percentage is below the national baseline of 2.6%, the CDC report says.
While flu cases are low, COVID-19 is fueling a high number of pneumonia fatalities. 14.3% of the deaths during the week ending December 5, 2020, were due to pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19 (PIC). This percentage is above the epidemic threshold of 6.5% for the reported week.
Of the 3,052 PIC deaths reported for the week, 2,113 had COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death on the death certificate while only five listed influenza. This data indicates that the current increase in PIC mortality is due primarily to COVID-19 and not influenza.