The flu hospitalization rate rose last week to 59.9 per 100,000 people, the highest rate for this point in the year since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began enhanced surveillance of laboratory-confirmed flu hospitalizations during the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009-2010. The H3N2 strain predominant this flu season has been associated in past years with more hospitalizations and deaths in older adults and young children. A total of 17,101 flu hospitalizations and 63 flu-associated pediatric deaths have been reported so far this season. CDC recommends treating all hospitalized, severely ill and high-risk patients who have suspected or confirmed influenza with antiviral medications as soon as possible. The agency also continues to recommend flu vaccination for everyone aged 6 months and older, as flu activity could continue to increase for several more weeks.

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