JOURNAL ARTICLE

Influenza-associated pediatric deaths—United States, September 2010-August 2011

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MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2011 September 16, 60 (36): 1233-8
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Influenza-associated pediatric mortality has been a nationally notifiable condition since October 2004. This report summarizes the 115 cases of influenza-associated pediatric mortality reported to CDC that occurred from September 1, 2010, through August 31, 2011. Deaths occurred in 33 states. Nearly half of the deaths (46%) occurred in children aged <5 years. Of the children who died, 49% had no known Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)-defined high-risk medical conditions, and 35% died at home or in the emergency department. Of the 74 children aged ≥6 months for whom vaccination data were available, 17 (23%) had been fully vaccinated. ACIP recommends that all children aged ≥6 months receive vaccination against influenza annually. These findings underscore the importance of vaccinating children to prevent influenza virus infection and its potentially severe complications. Health-care providers should develop a comprehensive strategy to increase vaccination coverage among children.

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