Florida Dept. of Health Weekly Flu Review

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Summary – Week 4: January 21-27, 2018

2017 Week 50 Flu Review Maps

State influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) activity:

• Flu activity is high and increased sharply for the third week in a row. In week 4, 2018:

• Flu activity was at higher levels than at the highest points in previous flu seasons.

• People at high-risk for complications from influenza infection, such as adults aged 65 years and older and pregnant women continued to be heavily impacted.

 Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were confirmed, bringing the total to five for the season (see page 4). Among the five deaths, one was influenza (H3), one was A 2009 (H1N1), one influenza A unspecified, one influenza B Yamagata lineage, and one influenza B unspecified.

• Deaths due to pneumonia and influenza were slightly higher than expected. Deaths are expected to increase over the coming weeks. Most deaths occurred in people aged 65 years and older. The majority of deaths in people aged 64 years and younger occurred in people with underlying health conditions (74%).

• Eighty-two outbreaks were reported: 41 with laboratory evidence of influenza and 41 ILI. As of week 4 (ending January 27, 2018), 241 outbreaks of influenza and ILI have been reported since the start of the 2017-18 season.

• More outbreaks have been reported than in previous seasons. Nearly all of these outbreaks (94%) have been reported in facilities serving people at risk for complications from influenza infection (children and adults aged 65 years and older).

Immunizations and prevention:

• The Florida Department of Health recommends that sick people stay home until fever-free for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and that all people use good handwashing practices.

• Those who have not been vaccinated should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Though flu vaccines can vary in effectiveness from season to season, flu vaccines are safe and are the best way to prevent influenza infection and serious influenza complications. To locate a flu shot near you, please visit www.floridahealth.gov/findaflushot.

Treatment:

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of antiviral treatment as soon as possible for all hospitalized, severely ill, and people who are at higher risk for complications with suspect influenza: children <2 years old, adults ≥65 years old, pregnant women, and those with underlying medical conditions. Treatment should be administered within 48 hours of illness onset (but treatment administered after this period can still be beneficial). A recent CDC health advisory stresses the importance of rapid and early antiviral treatment this season. For more information, visit:http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/influenza/_documents/cdc-han-influenza-12-27-2017.pdf.

• In these instances, clinicians should not wait for laboratory confirmation to administer antivirals to people with suspect influenza.

National influenza activity:

• Influenza activity continued to increase and was well above the national baseline. Most states are experiencing high levels of ILI activity.

• As in Florida, influenza A (H3) has been the most common strain of influenza identified.

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