Children have been hit particularly hard by early flu seasons, raising concerns about U.S. immunization rates after the pandemic fueled a trend of vaccine hesitancy, according to a Tennessee study. . (Also read: (Flu, Covid and RSV are on the rise and already burdening hospitals.)
In 14 of the state’s 95 counties, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, children were hospitalized at higher rates than usual and were more likely than adults to get sick from other household contacts. Twice as many had tested positive in the current season.
The flu began spreading in the U.S. in September, a month earlier than usual, in a season that combined with CoVID-19 and RSV, another respiratory disease, in what U.S. health officials called a “triploidemic.” The rate of hospitalizations for the flu alone among Tennessee children and teens also spiked, reaching 6.9 per 100,000 children in the week ending Nov. 26, more than double the rate for the same week in 2019. Is.
“One in four children in Tennessee had received the flu vaccine at the time of this study,” Christine Thomas, a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service officer who helped write the report, said in an email. The severity of the season “highlights the need for everyone, including babies 6 months and older, to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible.”
Immunization rates for many childhood diseases have suffered as a result of widespread skepticism of CoVID-19 shots. As of Dec. 31, flu vaccination coverage for children fell to 48 percent in 2020, compared to about 53 percent in 2020. Thomas said the CDC is doing targeted outreach to parents, encouraging them to get their children vaccinated against the flu.
According to the report, flu activity has decreased in Tennessee and nationally since early December, but there are still several weeks left in the season. Children are at high risk for flu-related illness and death, and the seasonal flu vaccine remains the best way to protect them — especially this year, as the number of flu-related children is rising for the first time since the pandemic began. Deaths are increasing.
The CDC has reported 79 flu-related deaths in children so far this season, compared to a season total of 44 deaths in 2021-22 and just one death in the 2020-21 season, when Covid-control measures are in place. reduced cases.
This story was published without editing the text from a wire agency feed. Only the title has been changed.
(Tags to Translate)Flu Season