Twenty flu-related deaths have been reported in children so far this winter – one of the worst tolls this early in the year since health officials began keeping track.
Still, experts say that doesn’t mean this year will turn out to be unusually deadly. Roughly 100 children die in an average flu season, and it’s not clear that will happen this year.
The deaths have included a 6-year-old girl in Maine, a 15-year-old Michigan boy who loved robotics and a tall high school senior from Texas who got sick in Wisconsin while visiting his grandparents for the holidays.
On average, an estimated 24,000 Americans die each flu season. Elderly people with chronic health conditions are at greatest risk.