The CDC issued a news report stating that the total number of 172 pediatric deaths from influenza in the 2017–18 flu season is the highest on record, excluding pandemics. The first paragraph of the CDC report appears below.
The CDC is reporting an additional pediatric flu-related death this week, bringing the total number this season to 172. This number exceeds the 2012–2013 season, which previously set the record for the highest number of flu-related deaths in children reported during a single flu season (excluding pandemics). Approximately 80% of these deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination this season. CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. These deaths are a somber reminder of the importance of flu vaccination and the potential seriousness of flu. CDC experts have described the 2017–2018 season as a high severity season, with influenza-like-illness (ILI) remaining at or above baseline for 19 consecutive weeks, record-breaking flu hospitalization rates, and elevated pneumonia and influenza mortality for 16 weeks.
Access the full news release on the CDC website: CDC Reported Flu Deaths in Children Exceeds Seasonal High