During that time, 3.5 per 100,000 children were hospitalized, most younger than 6 months, the researchers noted.
Most of these children (67 percent) suffered from other health problems as well as the flu. Nearly 60 percent had pneumonia, 27 percent were admitted to an intensive care unit and 3 percent died, Louie's group found.
"Overall, rates of hospitalization in this case series were similar to seasonal influenza, with infants under 12 months of age having the highest rates," Louie said.
Sixty-nine percent were treated with antiviral drugs, the study authors reported. "Children who had a positive rapid test or who were treated with antivirals early in their illness were less likely to require intensive care unit admission or die," Louie said.
Intensive care hospitalization and death were more likely among children with heart disease, cerebral palsy or developmental problems, the authors added.
Hispanic and black children were less likely to die or need intensive care than white children, Louie's team said.
"For children with influenza-like symptoms, especially those with high-risk conditions, clinicians should have high suspicion for infection with influenza," Louie said. And parents should get their children, especially those with underlying health issues, vaccinated against the flu, she stressed.
In another report in the same journal issue, researchers looked at children hospitalized for H1N1 flu in Israel. Dr. Michal Stein of Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, and colleagues found the number of children hospitalized and the severity of illness were similar to the findings in the study by Louie and colleagues.
"In conclusion, our study showed that the severity a
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