Flu season is not over in the US: Tripledemic concerns still up, sparking vigilance amid pediatric deaths

Visual Representation for a flu infected individual
Visual Representation for a flu infected individual

United States: The flu season has been increasing with an increase in winter. The season was believed to be more severe for the younger population of the United States, and concerns were raised over the “tripledemic” caused by RSV, COVID-19, and flu, along with the common cold.

During this season, the news linked with pediatric deaths made headlines on a regular basis – which raised concerns, but health experts asked people to avoid panicking and behave vigilantly and carefully.

Concerning flu season for 2023-2024

A specialist at Norton Children’s Hospital in Lousiville, Kentucky, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases – Dr Kris Bryant, stated, “So far, this seems like the typical flu season that we saw prior to the pandemic. Recognize that a ‘typical flu season’ results in a lot of outpatient healthcare visits and hospitalizations and even some deaths in children,” according to USA Today.

Visual Representation

As of now, the death count has reached 57 after 10 influenza-related deaths were reported on January 20, 2024, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The “season,” according to the CDC, goes from late fall to early spring. By February of the 2022-2023 season, there were 106 reported deaths of children, the highest number since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health expert Bryant further told USA Today, “In the decade before the pandemic, the number of pediatric flu deaths ranged from 37 in the 2011-12 season to 199 in the 2019-20 season. The final total for last season was 183 deaths. That’s a scary number for both parents and pediatricians.”

Vaccination status among children!

In a recent report, the CDC revealed that 103 children out of 106 – who died in February 2024 were eligible for the vaccination, and 90 percent of the same were not fully vaccinated, and out of the vaccination status of 81 was unclear.

Signs to monitor if your child contracts the flu

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the signs and symptoms to watch in children, especially below the age of five, are:

  • A high fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Congestion
  • Cough or Sore Throat
  • Upset stomach or vomiting
  • Shivering or sweating
Visual Representation for symptoms of Influenza

In addition to this, an infected child – a very young baby or child, could also show signs like:

  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Trouble in feeding
  • Frequent crying or irritability

While addressing the increasing flu cases in the babies, Bryant mentioned that worsening of the medical condition could also send a child to the hospital for a few days or weeks.

She was quoted saying, “In terms of how flu makes kids really sick, some who develop severe influenza have an overwhelming viral infection. Other kids with flu may develop a secondary bacterial pneumonia or sepsis. In prior flu seasons, I have taken care of kids who developed severe infections due to Staph or Strep germs shortly after they were diagnosed with flu.”

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