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Flu Is Making A Comeback In US After An Unusual Year Off

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The U.S. flu season has arrived on schedule after taking a year off, with flu hospitalizations rising and two child deaths reported. Last year’s flu season was the lowest on record, likely because COVID-19 measures—school closures, distancing, masks, and canceled travel—prevented the spread of influenza, or because the coronavirus somehow pushed aside other viruses. “This is setting itself up to be more of a normal flu season,” said Lynnette Brammer, who tracks flu-like illnesses for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The childhood deaths, Brammer said, are “unfortunately what we would expect when flu activity picks up. It’s a sad reminder of how severe flu can be.” During last year’s unusually light flu season, one child died. In contrast, 199 children died from flu two years ago, and 144 the year before that. In the newest data, the most intense flu activity was in the nation’s capital, Washington, …  » Read full article

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