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Pediatric Flu Deaths – what’s going on here?

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The CDC reported that from October 2006 through may 2007 there have been 55 children that have died from the flu. This is data from 23 states. Bacterial secondary infections are a complication of the flu and the most lethal of these is usually Staphylococcus Aureus. In 2004-5 there was one such lethal case, in 2005-6 there were 3 cases and now 55? I do not have the answers but as a physician the following questions come to mind. Were these children in the hospital and are these hospital acquired infections? Were more of these children immuno-compromized to begin with? Are physicians beginning to become less vigilant knowing it’s “just the flu”?

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