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Hospitals Overflow as Flu Epidemic Spreads Unabated

Deaths continue to rise as this year’s record season worsens.
Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America
Updated on

The number of Americans hit by an already record-setting flu season continues to rise as hospitalization rates hit new highs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Hospitals are more crowded than in the 2014-2015 flu season, which marked the previous record when 710,000 Americans needed medical care to beat the illness, said Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s acting director. The agency also reported the deaths of an additional 16 children over the past week, bringing the total number of pediatric deaths attributed to the flu to 53 so far this season. Half of them had no additional health complications that would have placed them at elevated risk, Schuchat said.