Another flu season is coming to a close in the U.S. after killing 105 children thus far, which is about the average for any one flu season.
This flu season started nearly one full month earlier than normal, sparking great concern it could turn into one of the worst in the past 10 years. The flu season was very hard on elderly people, but overall was only moderately severe, according to data released by the Center for Disease Control.
Six of the children who died were reported just a week ago and there is a possibility others will be reported, said one of the doctors at the CDC on Friday.
Nearly 100 children die each year on average during the flu season. An exception to that was when the swine flu pandemic hit during 2009 and 2010 and killed 348 children.
CDC officials recommend that every child who is six months of age or older receive a vaccination each season against the flu, though only about 50% get flu shots.
Of the more than 100 children who died this flu season, only four were not old enough to be given a vaccination, but close to 90% of them were not vaccinated, said officials from the CDC.
The vaccine this year was deemed effective for children, though it performed weak in older people. The flu strain that was dominant during the early part of the flu season was a strain that has a tendency to cause a severe illness.
The government keeps a national death count for children who die during the flu season, but only tracks rates of hospitalization for those people 65 or older, which this year was grim. In that group over 177 out of 100,000 had to be hospitalized which were 2 ½ times more than in other recent seasons.