Flu activity (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/summary.htm) remains elevated overall in the United States, though some parts of the country are seeing flu activity decline. It’s likely that flu season will continue for another couple of months. The predominant virus for this season remains 2009 H1N1. A total of 40 influenza-associated pediatric deaths for the 2013-2014 season have been reported to date.

Among children, vaccination remains especially important for those younger than 5 years of age and those of any age with an underlying chronic medical condition, such as asthma, diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression, or neurologic disorders (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/neurologic-pediatric.htm). These children are at higher risk of serious complications if they get the flu.

Vaccination remains the most important step in protecting against influenza. At this point in the season, people may have to check with more than one vaccine provider in order to locate vaccine, but supplies of vaccine should still be available. The AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge everyone who still has not been vaccinated to get vaccinated now.

Also, antiviral treatment should be started as soon as possible because benefit is greatest when treatment is initiated within 48 hours of symptom onset. The sooner antiviral therapy can be started, the better the outcome.

For more detailed influenza information, see the AAP Red Book Online Influenza Resource page (http://aapredbook.aappublications.org/site/flu/) or the CDC FluView (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/). All American Academy of Pediatrics “What’s the Latest with the Flu” messages can be found online (www.aap.org/disasters/flu).