Wednesday June 19th 2019

Influenza cases build across country

By mid-January, 44 states were reporting widespread influenza activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And while some of the viruses spreading this season are different from those in the vaccine, the CDC continues to recommend that persons get inoculated as long as flu viruses are circulating.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) also urges nurses to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and their patients.

Further, the CDC recommends that health care professionals evaluate persons at high risk for flu complications for prompt treatment with antiviral drugs.

The CDC notes that the severity of the season is similar to others in which influenza A (H3N2) viruses have predominantly circulated. H3N2 seasons often lead to more severe disease in young children and elderly adults compared to H1N1 seasons.

Between Oct. 1, 2014, and Jan. 17, 2015, 9,926 laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported. The highest rate of hospitalization was among adults 65 years old and over, followed by children up to 4 years old.

The majority (about 94 percent) of hospitalized adults had at least one reported underlying medical condition; the most commonly reported were metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease and obesity. There were 196 hospitalized children, and 83 had no identified underlying medical conditions. Further, there were 56 influenza-associated pediatric deaths during the 2014-2015 season at this time.

For more information on influenza and other ANA-related information, go to http://anaimmunize.org/influenza.

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