Three-year-old dies of flu, child death toll increases to 63

(CBS) - More than 60 children have died from the virus and the CDC says the season may not have peaked yet.

Alivia Viellieux, 3, died on Monday in Indiana after testing positive for influenza. She is one of 63 children who has died from the virus so far this year, compared to 20 at this point last year. In New Jersey, the North Bergen School District is disinfecting its school buildings while the health department investigates whether the death of a 5-year-old girl there was flu-related.

The CDC says one in ten deaths in the US is currently due to influenza or pneumonia. And one in 13 doctor visits last week were for flu symptoms.

More than 17,000 people in the U.S. have been hospitalized for flu-related illnesses since October and the CDC says it may be several more weeks before we see the worst of it.

The CDC says seek immediate help if you develop flu symptoms that include persistent high fever, breathing problems, and a rapid heartbeat.

Health experts say it's not too late to get flu shot. And while the vaccine appears to be less effective against the H3N2 flu strain dominating this season, it still could lessen the severity of the illness.

Health experts also say washing your hands with soap and water is more effective than using hand sanitizer at preventing the spread of the virus, but hand sanitizer is still better than nothing.



 
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