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NY flu update: 2 more kids die, flu goes viral in CNY, hospitalizations decrease

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Here are highlights from the state Health Department’s latest report on New York’s record flu epidemic. It is based on information collected for the week ended Feb. 10.

Two more kids die: Two more downstate children died of flu complications. That raises the state’s pediatric flu death toll this season to five. All of the deaths have occurred downstate. By law all pediatric flu deaths must be reported to the state. There were eight pediatric flu deaths in New York during the 2016-2017 flu season. The state does not report adult flu deaths.

Flu still going viral in CNY: As the growth of flu activity slows in other parts of the state, it continues rising at a rapid rate in Central New York. About 170 laboratory confirmed cases per 100,000 people were reported in Central New York, up from about 120 cases per 100,000 cases the previous week. Western New York, the region with the second highest rate, had about 90 cases per 100,000 people. 

Fewer people hospitalized: While the total number of lab-confirmed flu cases rose 7 percent statewide, the number of people hospitalized with the flu decreased 3 percent. About 57 percent of New Yorkers hospitalized with the flu so far this season have been 65 and older.

H3N2 strain most common: The vast majority of flu specimens analyzed by the state tested positive for influenza type A (H3N2). The federal government says the flu vaccine is only 25 percent effective against that strain, the major culprit behind this season’s rough flu season.

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Contact James T. Mulder anytime: Email | Twitter | 315-470-2245 

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