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US Pediatric Flu Deaths Increase To Fifty
Recombinomics Commentary 18:00
January 24, 2013

NYC (1 ), FL (2 ), TX (1 ), CO (4)

The above numbers from the week 3 MMWR reportable diseases page indicate tomorrow’s CDC week 3 FluView will have 8 more pediatric deaths, increasing the season total to 37, which surpasses last season’s total of 34 deaths.  However, 4 of the 8 cases listed above are from Colorado, which had been reported in the state reports for weeks 50 and 2.  The FluView numbers have a significant lag.  Colorado reported a fifth death in its week 3 report and as seen in the list below, there are 13 confirmed or probable cases that have already been reported, raising the season total to fifty.  Moreover, many of the state week 3 reports have not been made public yet, so the total below may increase further this week.

The similarities between the 2012-13 season and 2003-04 are increasing.  In late 2003 the Pneumonia & Influenza death rate briefly topped 10%, and the  current week 3 rate is at 9.8%.  Moreover, this level is a large increase over the 8.3% reported for week 2, which was a large increase of the 7.3% reported for week 1.  Thus, the week 4 level may top the peak seen in 2003.

In the 2003-04 season the large number of pediatric deaths produce US regulations requiring the reporting of lab confirmed flu deaths in pediatric cases.  In 2007-08 there were 88 pediatric deaths reported, and this level will likely be surpassed this season.  That level was the highest since the 2003-04 season other than the 2009-10 and 2010-11 season, which were heavily impacted by H1N1pdm09, which caused the 2009 pandemic.

This season most of the pediatric and adult deaths are due to H3N2, which is the serotype causing the large number of deaths in the 2003-04 as well as 2007-08 seasons.

FluView pediatric cases (37)
Wk   #    Location
03    8    NYC FL(2) TX CO(4)
02    9    MA NY(2) OH MN NE TX(2) MI
01    2    KS TX
52    2    MI NY
51    8    AR FL ME MI(2) TX WA WI
50    2    NJ
49    1    TX
48    3    IN FL SC
46    1    TX
41    1    TN

Pediatric deaths not in FluView (13)
03    6    PA#  MI+ CO HI* AZ* NJ*
02    6    OH+ DE* MD* CA* NJ* IL+
52    1    IN

*  = Lab confirmed but not in state updates
+ = Under investigation
# = Obituary report

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