According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this season’s influenza activity has reached epidemic levels, as widespread activity has been reported in 46 states as of January 10.
Although hospitals aren’t required to report flu cases or deaths of those who are over 18 years of age, CNN reports that 45 children have died from influenza thus far. For comparison’s sakes, there were 27 pediatric fatalities last year from influenza at this time. This flu season could surpass the dangerous 2012-13 season, where 51 pediatric deaths were reported. Aside from child fatalities, this flu season is crowding emergency rooms and this season’s strain is particularly hitting the elderly hard.
Of course, even flu vaccines are arguably largely no help, as recent reports have suggested that vaccines have only been about 23% effective.