During the first week of February four people died due to flu-related complications, while 4,776 had COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death on their death certificates, according to data published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At least a quarter of all deaths during the first week of February were attributed to respiratory illnesses, with the majority listing COVID-19 as a cause, according to the CDC’s weekly FluView report.
Under typical circumstances, flu can prove deadly for pediatric patients. This year, due to the low number of flu cases only one child has died of the flu compared to last year’s 195. During the 2018-19 season 144 children perished due to influenza-related complications, according to the CDC data.
Hospitalizations for flu-related illnesses are also down from previous years. A total of 165 lab-confirmed flu-related hospitalizations occurred between October 1, 2020, and February 6, 2021, lower than what is typical for this time of the season.
All states are currently experiencing minimal flu activity, but due to difficultly tracking influenza-like symptoms many local health authorities have stopped reporting influenza-like symptom activity, the CDC says.
The CDC acknowledges that due to the impact of the novel coronavirus, influenza activity has been particularly difficult for local health authorities to track and not all data presented will give an accurate picture of this year’s flu season.