The flu hospitalization rate rose last week to 81.7 per 100,000 people. It recently surpassed the rate at the end of the 2014-2015 flu season, another severe season when the H3N2 strain also predominated. H3N2 viruses are associated with more hospitalizations and deaths in older adults and young children. A total of 114 flu-associated pediatric deaths have been reported nationally this season, and 23,324 flu hospitalizations in the 13 states reporting data to CDC’s surveillance network. Forty-five states continue to report widespread flu activity. 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 recommends flu vaccination for everyone aged 6 months and older.

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