High Influenza Incidence and Disease Severity Among Children and Adolescents Aged <18 Years - United States, 2022-23 Season

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023 Oct 13;72(41):1108-1114. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7241a2.


During the 2022-23 influenza season, early increases in influenza activity, co-circulation of influenza with other respiratory viruses, and high influenza-associated hospitalization rates, particularly among children and adolescents, were observed. This report describes the 2022-23 influenza season among children and adolescents aged <18 years, including the seasonal severity assessment; estimates of U.S. influenza-associated medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths; and characteristics of influenza-associated hospitalizations. The 2022-23 influenza season had high severity among children and adolescents compared with thresholds based on previous seasons' influenza-associated outpatient visits, hospitalization rates, and deaths. Nationally, the incidences of influenza-associated outpatient visits and hospitalization for the 2022-23 season were similar for children aged <5 years and higher for children and adolescents aged 5-17 years compared with previous seasons. Peak influenza-associated outpatient and hospitalization activity occurred in late November and early December. Among children and adolescents hospitalized with influenza during the 2022-23 season in hospitals participating in the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network, a lower proportion were vaccinated (18.3%) compared with previous seasons (35.8%-41.8%). Early influenza circulation, before many children and adolescents had been vaccinated, might have contributed to the high hospitalization rates during the 2022-23 season. Among symptomatic hospitalized patients, receipt of influenza antiviral treatment (64.9%) was lower than during pre-COVID-19 pandemic seasons (80.8%-87.1%). CDC recommends that all persons aged ≥6 months without contraindications should receive the annual influenza vaccine, ideally by the end of October.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Influenza Vaccines*
  • Influenza, Human* / prevention & control
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Acuity*
  • Seasons
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Influenza Vaccines