My colleagues at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy are tracking the case count, and here's what they said this evening:
The CDC received eight reports of influenza-related deaths in children during the week ending Feb 21, bringing the seasonal total to 17. Four of the deaths occurred in Texas, 2 in Colorado, and 1 each in Arizona and Massachusetts.Just to recap, that's four deaths so far this flu season from flu+MRSA, twice the number we knew of last week.
Bacterial coinfections have been confirmed in 10 (59%) of the 17 children. Staphylococcus aureus was identified in 8 of the 10 children—3 of the isolates were sensitive to methicillin, 4 were not, and results were not reported for 1. Eight of the 10 children who had coinfections were age 12 or older. (Byline: Lisa Schnirring)
And just to remind: The CDC and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices now recommends flu shots for all children and adolescents, up through the age of 18. A flu shot is one defense against MRSA pneumonia. It is worth considering.