Children are still dying from the flu even though flu season is winding down. 13 more children died from the flu last week, bringing this season's total to nearly 100 children dead.
With deaths from the flu continuing to rise, hospitals in California and North Carolina have banned visits from children under age 12.
“We can never completely predict when flu season will end,” said Dr. Katie Passaretti, medical director of infectious disease at Atrium. The flu season can run into April or through the end of May."
That means the number of deaths related to the flu are expected to climb over the next several months. CDC officials say hospital admissions can exceed 710,000.
Many hospitals have a shortage of beds. Patients are being treated on gurneys in hallways and tents set up in hospital parking lots.
The strain of flu virus dominating this flu season is the H3N2 virus. Vaccines are only 25% effective against H3N2, but doctors advise getting vaccination shots anyway -- especially for children under 12 and the elderly.
Remember that good hand washing technique is still the most effective way to avoid getting sick.
Photos by Ariel Skelley, JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images