Flu Epidemic: H3N2 Cases And Child Deaths Prompt CDC To Issue Health Alert

Tuesday, December 30, 2014
By Paul Martin

December 30, 2014

A flu epidemic has been declared by the CDC. H3N2 has swept across 22 states and claimed the lives of at least 15 children. The mutated strain of the flu virus has reportedly caused 2,500 hospitalizations around the United States. H3N2 typically affects young children, people age 65 and older, and teenagers.

H3N2 flu cases are currently centered primarily around the Midwest and the southeastern regions of the nation. Six Tennessee children have died from the flu this year and 442 have been hospitalized from the illness this month alone, according to the department of health in that state. Between October 1 and December 20, the start of the flu season, 15 children have died form the H3N2 flu strain – four in the week leading up to Christmas.

CDC flu epidemic statistics indicate that deaths from pneumonia and the flu have exceeded the “national baseline” and H3N2 is at the “epidemic threshold of 6.8 percent.” The number of states reporting cases of the deadly flu strain has recently increased from 13 to 22. Health officials feel that the flu epidemic has increased because the H3N2 strain mutated and therefore reduced the effectiveness of the pre-prepared vaccine. Approximately 90 percent of flu cases this year had been of the “virulent H3N2 subtype,” according to the Center for Disease Control.

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