This season’s flu vaccine has been about 45% effective at preventing flu-related outpatient visits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today. Markers of severe illness, including laboratory-confirmed flu-associated hospitalization rates for children and adults under age 50, are higher than in recent seasons at this time, the agency said. There have been 105 flu-associated deaths in children, the largest number at this time in the season since reporting began in 2004-05, except for the 2009 pandemic. The agency continues to recommend flu vaccination while flu viruses are circulating, and antiviral treatment for patients hospitalized with suspected or confirmed flu and other at risk populations.

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