The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 63 children have died from the virus so far this year versus 20 at the same point last year. In 2009-2010, influenza took the lives of 113 children in the U.S.
The vaccines were only 25% effective against a kind of flu called Type A H3N2. In addition to reducing the spread of the flu virus, this also allows hospital staff to more efficiently serve both groups. As of February 3, there have been 4,269 cases, 487 hospitalizations and 24 deaths reported since the beginning of the season in Montana.
Dr. Stefanie Schroeder, the medical director at ASU Health Services, said the flu spiked earlier in the season and with more severe cases than previous years.
The reported flu absenteeism rate for schools in Hillsborough and Rockingham counties that week, classified as week 5 of the yearly data, is between 1 and 2.9 percent, according to a county-by-county breakdown provided by the state. Flu shots may also be available through individual physicians and at select pharmacies.
Cloninger did note that there had been a shortage on the flu vaccine recently throughout the area. If you are close enough to a person with the flu (3 to 6 feet) when they cough or sneeze, you can breathe in the virus and get sick.
"So you might feel miserable a day or two", he said. Children can spread the flu even longer after they get sick. The vaccine was only 25 percent effective against that type.
The Tennessee Department of Health is urging all Tennesseans who have not yet received a flu shot this flu season to get one as soon as possible, as seasonal influenza remains widespread across the state.
Although it happens every year, the exact timing can differ one year to another.
Amid national flu season, ASU biomedical researchers analyzed flu samples from sick students during the peak of an outbreak on campus.
"We made sure to stock up this year, and we order more any time it is available to make sure we don't run short", said Mark Cloninger, owner and pharmacist at Southside. A few common symptoms are as follows: fever or feeling feverish and having chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue.
Despite the circumstances of the Golden Hill Elementary School student's death, Haverhill Assistant Superintendent Jared Fulgoni said the flu has not had much of an impact on the district's overall attendance rates this school year.