CDC reports 92 pediatric flu deaths, 2 in Kansas

Photo courtesy MGN

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 92 children have died across the country due to complications from the flu. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, two of those children lived in Kansas.

The news comes out as some Kansas schools canceled classes and extended the three-day holiday weekend to do some deep cleaning to combat spreading the flu.

Central Christian School in Hutchinson said it shared parents' concerns over the number of sick students. The school said it was also having a hard time finding substitutes to fill in because they were battling flu-like symptoms too.

School officials made the decision to close Friday and resume classes on Tuesday.

Schools in Columbus, Kan. precautionarily canceled classes Thursday and Friday after a paraprofessional's flu-related death. The district said it regularly uses hospital-grade cleaners and sanitizing bombs to disinfect during flu season. The district encouraged parents to get their children swabbed and tested if they were having flu-like symptoms.

Health officials said a second wave of the flu is hitting the United States.

"We've also seen another peak in the last week or two, most of the cases so far have been Influenza B," said Dr. David Smith with Prairie Star Health Center.

For the 2019-2020 flu season, KDHE reported 18 flu outbreaks in Kansas and 48 deaths.

The CDC said overall hospitalization rates remain similar to this time during recent seasons, but rates among children and young adults are higher right now.

The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, according to the CDC.