SAN DIEGO — It's been a deadly flu season and an especially tragic one for children. 32 children have reportedly died across the country. That's the highest number at this point in the flu season since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began keeping track 17 year ago.
In San Diego, however, doctors at Rady Children's Hospital say the cases they're seeing aren't too serious or severe.
"The number of documented cases has surpassed those of last year 20 to 30 %, but what's interesting is the number of hospitalizations and deaths are down," said Dr. John Bradley, the Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at Rady Children's Hospital.
Doctor Bradley also says all of the flu cases they've seen locally have been treatable. The strains are susceptible to antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
"If an adult or child has influenza, we've got treatment for them," Bradley said.
The strains this season are more contagious, so Bradley said parents should get their child to a doctor quickly if they suspect a case of the flu. He believes early treatment, within 48 to 72 hours, can make a difference.