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NEW YORK (AP) – The flu killed more U.S. children in the past year than during any other regular flu season in recent history.

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Health officials on Friday said they’ve received reports of 172 pediatric flu deaths since October. An average season sees about 110.

There were more deaths in 2009-2010, when a rare flu pandemic occurred involving a new strain. More than 300 children died that season.

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The past flu season wasn’t a pandemic, but it was an unusually long and intense one. It was driven by a kind of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths, particularly young children and the elderly.

Making a bad year worse, the flu vaccine didn’t work very well.

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