SAN ANTONIO – A pediatric flu death — the first of the season — has been reported in San Antonio as the number of people that have tested positive for the virus increases.
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported the death occurred during the week of Nov. 17-23.
The percentage of people who tested positive for influenza by hospitals and public health laboratories increased by 82% during that week.
No influenza-associated outbreaks have been reported, according to Metro Health.
This year’s winter flu season arrived early, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported 1.7 million flu illnesses, 16,000 hospitalizations and 900 flu-related deaths nationally, according to the Associated Press.
The last flu season to rev up this early was in 2003-2004, and the season could peak earlier than normal, the AP reported.
Health officials tend to consider a flu season officially underway when the number of patients with flu-like illnesses spikes in doctor’s offices for three weeks in a row, the AP states.