About half of the children who've had to be hospitalized had been healthy previously. Adults 65 and older had the highest hospitalization rate, which is typical.
"Overall hospitalizations are now significantly higher than what we've seen for this time of year since our current tracking system began nearly a decade ago, in 2010", Schuchat said.
More weeks of viral spread could be coming.
"The tragic death of a child due to the flu is a reminder of the devastating effects this illness can have on people of all ages", the Health Department said in a written statement. But most children and adults who get sick will recover at home, without complications, she said. By every major indicator used by the CDC, flu activity is rising and not falling. Experts say these drugs are still available experts are hoping to reach a plateau, but fear this flu season may be even worse than anticipated.
Flu cases in the region of Indiana that Cass County's in were lower last week than the week before but continue to be high across the state, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. OR and Hawaii, the exceptions, both recorded regional activity for the fifth week of the year. "We know it's not a lab error, that can happen", she added.
For the past five years, the flu season has lasted between 11 and 20 weeks, she said.
"This flu season is turning out to be particularly challenging".
Of the deaths in Washington state, state officials linked 109 cases to influenza A and 38 to influenza B, according to the department's report, which measures the 2017-18 flu season over a 12-month period beginning in October.
"As of this week, we have more hospitalizations than we have seen in any recent season, including severe 2014-15 season", Dr. Schuchat said. If enough people do this in your community, it bolsters overall health of everyone around you and protects people whose immune systems are too weak to sustain a flu shot, such as a newborn baby, or, someone with cancer or type 1 diabetes. It's hard to compare the severity of influenza across seasons for more than a handful of years because of changes in how the virus is handled in the US. "Oftentimes that second peak is from a different strain". And the flu activity rate this year is just barely behind that peak.
"The commercial supply is there", she said so dipping into the strategic national stockpile is not necessary.