27 February 2009

Child deaths from flu + MRSA, an update

As predicted earlier this week: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced more deaths of children from flu, and from flu followed by MRSA pneumonia.

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.
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)
Just to recap, that's four deaths so far this flu season from flu+MRSA, twice the number we knew of last week.

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.

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