So far, the number of child fatalities associated with the illness has climbed to over 60.
County health officials declined to say where the victim lived, citing patient privacy, but did confirm it was an adult. "It seems to be a little more intense this year".
"It's always been the cause of more severe seasons", Lipsitch said. As other studies found, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus were the most common bacterial coinfections, which were more common in kids who didn't have underlying medical conditions. The highest number of deaths were reported in the age group of less than 6 months and then babies between 6 and 23 months of age.
Lipsitch added another caution about "misplaced" research priorities, citing the recent reinstatement of federal funds for a type of experiment that artificially enhances flu viruses in the lab to understand how they become pandemic strains.
Should I take an antiviral drug like Tamiflu?
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"It's still going on", she said.
As of February 3, a total of 48 states continued to experience widespread flu activity, according to the CDC's latest surveillance report.
On Saturday Newsday reported that in the last week 782 flu cases had been reported in Suffolk, according to officials. Children who are Medicaid-enrolled or eligible, or enrolled in Child Health Plus can also get the vaccine free of cost, and the measure also covers Native American or Alaska-native children.
The department confirmed the news during its monthly meeting on Tuesday. Schuchat noted that overall hospitalizations are now significantly higher than what has been seen for this time of year since CDC's current tracking system began almost a decade ago in 2010, and "the rate is approaching the final rate of hospitalizations that we observed at the end of the active 2014-2015 flu season".
That is largely due to a spike in influenza B, which generally affects children, to "well above expected levels for this time of year", according to the national health watchdog's latest numbers. Doctors were anxious about young children carrying the disease into the hospital without even knowing it.
To differentiate between a regular cold and the flu, Rubin said the hallmarks of the flu are high fevers, body aches and significant coughing.
Children are at high risk for influenza complications - especially those younger than 2.
Although it is not too late to receive a flu shot, Huey notes that the vaccine is becoming harder to come by, as only a certain supply is created each year.