CDC Warns of Link Between Flu Cases, Staph Infections
CDC on Wednesday in a national alert sent to health departments and medical groups said that the number of child flu deaths last year associated with staph infections was five times greater than in previous years, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The agency is investigating whether some strains of staph bacteria circulating in the community have developed increased ability to cause diseases, such as influenza. During the 2006-2007 flu season, CDC received reports of 73 children dying from influenza, which officials said was "moderately higher" than the 47 and 46 children who died in each of the two previous flu seasons.
At least 22 of the children who died of flu last year also had a staph infection, and 15 of them had the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain, according to the alert. CDC urged all physicians to promptly report all flu deaths among children and send in samples from any children who also were infected with staph (Young, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/1).