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Red Book Online Influenza News and Resources

February 21, 2024
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Influenza Information for Health Care Professionals from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

The AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases has compiled a comprehensive list of resources on influenza prevention and treatment in children and adolescents. This news and resource page is updated frequently. AAP membership or subscriber login may be required to access some links.

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Influenza news for the 2023-2024 season

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) FLUVIEW, Weekly US Map: Influenza Summary Update. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm

Quick Facts:

  • Seasonal influenza (flu) activity remains elevated nationally with increases in some parts of the country, particularly Regions 3 (mid-Atlantic), 5 (Midwest), and 7 (Central). 
  • Nationwide, during Week 6, 4.5% of patient visits reported through ILINet were due to respiratory illness that included fever plus a cough or sore throat, also referred to as ILI. This has remained stable (change of ≤ 0.1 percentage points) compared to Week 5 and has remained above the national baseline of 2.9% since Week 44. 
  • The number of weekly flu hospital admissions reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) hospitalization surveillance system remained stable during Week 6 compared to Week 5 (change of <5%) nationally. 
  • During Week 6, 15.7% of respiratory specimens tested for influenza viruses by clinical laboratories were positive. This is stable (change of <0.5 percentage points) compared to last week. 
  • Eight additional flu-related deaths in children were reported to CDC during Week 6.
    • All of these deaths occurred this season, between Week 4 of 2024 (the week ending January 27, 2024) and Week 5 of 2024 (the week ending February 3, 2024).
    • Three deaths were associated with influenza A viruses. Two of the influenza A viruses had subtyping performed; they were A(H1) and A(H3) viruses. Five deaths were associated with influenza B virus with no lineage determined.
    • This brings the total number of flu-related deaths in children reported to CDC so far this season to 82.
    • Of those children aged 6 months and older who were eligible for influenza vaccine and for whom vaccine status was known, approximately 90% had not received influenza vaccine this season. 
  • CDC estimates that from October 1, 2023, through February 10, 2024, there have been at least 24 million illnesses, 260,000 hospitalizations, and 16,000 deaths from flu so far this season. 
  • The current flu season meets criteria for a preliminary classification as a moderately severe flu season so far.
  • Flu vaccination coverage estimates for children 6 months to 17 years for the 2023-2024 season as of February 03, 2024, is lower this season compared with the same time last season (49.3% compared with 52.7%).

Learn more in the CDC’s Flu View: Weekly US Influenza Surveillance Report.  

Also of Note: CDC is providing updated, integrated information about COVID-19, influenza, and RSV activity on a weekly basis. 

Information and resources to prepare for the 2023-2024 influenza season

AAP Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2023–2024: Find guidance on the prevention and treatment of influenza in children and adolescents in this policy statement and technical report.   

COCA Call on 2023-2024 Recommendations for Influenza Prevention and Treatment: Watch this COCA Call, presented by AAP and CDC, to review strategies to increase vaccination rates, current health disparities in vaccination coverage, and best practices for vaccine coadministration. 

Professional Tools & Resources: To prepare your practice for the influenza season, and increase influenza vaccine awareness and vaccination rates, AAP provides the following influenza resources:   

Parent-Friendly Resources:  

  • HealthyChildren.org articles with information about influenza and the importance of annual flu shots: English | Spanish
  • The Flu: What Parents Need to Know available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese. 
  • The AAP Childhood and Adolescent Vaccine Education Series (YouTube series) features AAP member pediatricians answering common questions about children’s vaccinations and tips on finding correct information online. 
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