December 16th, 2014
I know you are all getting swamped with flu. Below is a snapshot of what is occurring:
- For the week ending December 6, the proportion of people seeing their health care provider for influenza-like illness (ILI) is above the national baseline. Eight of 10 U.S. regions reported ILI activity at or above region-specific baseline levels. Two states (Florida and Indiana) experienced moderate ILI activity.
- Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during the week ending December 6. A total of 7 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2014-2015 season at this time.
- Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 49. One death was associated with an influenza A (H3) virus and one was associated an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed. Both deaths occurred during week 48 (week ending November 29, 2014). To date, seven influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2014-2015 season.
- Nationally, the percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza viruses in the United States during the week ending December 6 increased once again to 21.2%. For the most recent three weeks, the regional percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza viruses ranged from 4.5% to 27.5%.
- Influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been identified most commonly in the United States this season. Fewer influenza B viruses have been detected and very few influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 viruses have been detected. During the week ending December 6, 3,252 (95.2%) of the 3,415 influenza-positive tests reported to CDC were influenza A viruses and 163 (4.8%) were influenza B viruses. Of the 1,261 influenza A viruses that were subtyped, 4 % were influenza A (H3) viruses and 0.5% was influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 viruses.
- Sixty-four (32.5%) of the 197 H3N2 viruses tested have been characterized as A/Texas/50/2012-like, the influenza A (H3N2) component of the 2014-2015 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine..
- Twenty (69%) of the 29 influenza B viruses tested belonged to the B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage and were characterized as B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like. This is an influenza B component of the 2014-2015 Northern Hemisphere trivalent and quadrivalent influenza vaccine.
- All viruses showed susceptibility to both oseltamivir and zanamivir.
Remember to counsel patients to stay home until afebrile 24 hours without Tylenol or Ibuprofen (even healthcare workers!)
Not a great match this year, but better than 0% without vaccination! Please continue to encourage vaccination.
Questions, call Deb McMahan, MD