Feb 27, 2009 (CIDRAP News) The number of pediatric influenza deaths outstripped last week's spike, and three more states reported widespread activity, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in its weekly surveillance update.
The CDC received eight reports of influenza-related deaths in children during the week ending Feb 21, bringing the seasonal total to 17. Four of the deaths occurred in Texas, 2 in Colorado, and 1 each in Arizona and Massachusetts.
Bacterial coinfections have been confirmed in 10 (59%) of the 17 children. Staphylococcus aureus was identified in 8 of the 10 children3 of the isolates were sensitive to methicillin, 4 were not, and results were not reported for 1. Eight of the 10 children who had coinfections were age 12 or older.
After noting a sharp increase in the number of S aureus infections in children who had the flu during the 2006-07 season, the CDC in January 2008 released interim testing and reporting recommendations regarding influenza and bacterial coinfections in children.
In other developments, the number of states reporting widespread flu activity rose to 27, 3 more than the previous week. Seventeen states reported regional activity, which is up 4 from last week's report.
Of the influenza A/H1N1 samples from 35 states that have been tested, nearly all (98.8%) showed resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Slightly more than a third of the influenza B viruses that were tested match the Yamagata lineage included in this year's vaccine, and the remaining samples were from the Victoria lineage.
Jan 2008 CDC interim guidance on testing and reporting influenza coinfections