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Fatalities Due to Flu and Staph Infections on the Rise

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There has been a rising trend in the number of flu related deaths in the U.S. amongst 5-17 year-old children due to concurrent staph infections. Generally, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually for flu related complications, about 20,000 of which are children.

73 children died during the 2006-2007 flu season. 36% of these cases had a bacterial infection, most of which were staph infections. 6 out of 10 had the MRSA bug, which is very dangerous and resistant to antibiotics. Early reporting on the 2007-2008 flu season reenforces this trend, registering 86 flu deaths amongst children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), "staph bacteria can cause infections in the blood, in the bones and in the lungs (pneumonia)." Most types of staph infections are treated with penicillin based antibiotics. Good hygiene helps prevent the staph and MRSA infections. Children and adults should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis. And also keep cuts and wounds clean and covered with a bandage. Avoiding contact with other people’s wounds or used bandages will help reduce the risk of infection.

If your child is experiencing flu-like symptoms and signs of complications, you should take your child to the doctor.