NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Flu fears were on the rise Saturday morning after the virus claimed the life of a third child in New York City.
This year, influenza has been sickening people at a rate the Centers for Disease Control hasn’t seen since the deadly swine flu pandemic of 2009.
“It looks like were are on track to break some recent records,” CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said.
63 children have died nationwide this season compared to 20 by this time last year. Three have died in the Tri-State Area, including an 8-year-old girl in Queens. It wasn’t immediately clear if they were vaccinated, but with more than two months left in the season officials say everyone should be.
The latest report from the CDC shows one out of every 13 visits to the doctor last week was for flu-like illness. As of this week, officials say there have been more hospitalizations this year than any in recent memory — including the severe 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Local healthcare providers have seen the increase firsthand. Dr. Michael Tugetman of the Bronx says they’ve seen an average of 150 people a day. Parents, like Upper West Side resident Valerie Listwon, are taking no chances. CBS2 caught up with Listwon after she took her kids to urgent care.
“They both had the flu a month ago and this is her second round with the flu,” she said.
The CDC also reported that ten percent of all deaths last week were caused by the flu or pneumonia.