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Health Alert

HEALTH ADVISORY:

High Influenza Activity

 


Influenza activity has increased over recent weeks and is currently widespread across all regions in Texas.  Influenza A, specifically the H3N2 subtype, is predominant this season.  The CDC reports that the rumor of lessened vaccine effectiveness is based on results from Australia so it is incorrect in the United States at this time. 

Recommendations for Clinicians

  • Continue to encourage vaccination for influenza (recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older).
  • A negative Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Test does not rule out influenza infection.
  • Anti-viral treatment should not wait for laboratory confirmation if influenza is suspected.
  • Anti-viral treatment is recommended for patients who are hospitalized, have severe disease, and/or at an increased risk for complications which includes:
    • Patients over 65 years of age, young children, and pregnant women, and
    • Patients with chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of complications.
  • Clinical benefit is greatest when antiviral treatment is administered as early as possible.

Information for Patient Education:

  • Stay home if experiencing symptoms of flu until fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow or sleeve.
  • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or, if unavailable, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is ill.

Additional Resources

  1. Algorithm for test interpretation when influenza is circulating in the community: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/diagnosis/algorithm-results-circulating.htm
  2. Complete summary of antiviral recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/summary-clinicians.htm
  3. Additional information on flu: http://www.texasflu.org/  and  https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm
 
   

 


REPORTING

If you

HEALTH ADVISORY:

High Influenza Activity

 

 

Influenza activity has increased over recent weeks and is currently widespread across all regions in Texas.  Influenza A, specifically the H3N2 subtype, is predominant this season.  The CDC reports that the rumor of lessened vaccine effectiveness is based on results from Australia so it is incorrect in the United States at this time. 

Recommendations for Clinicians

  • Continue to encourage vaccination for influenza (recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older).
  • A negative Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Test does not rule out influenza infection.
  • Anti-viral treatment should not wait for laboratory confirmation if influenza is suspected.
  • Anti-viral treatment is recommended for patients who are hospitalized, have severe disease, and/or at an increased risk for complications which includes:
    • Patients over 65 years of age, young children, and pregnant women, and
    • Patients with chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of complications.
  • Clinical benefit is greatest when antiviral treatment is administered as early as possible.

Information for Patient Education:

  • Stay home if experiencing symptoms of flu until fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow or sleeve.
  • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or, if unavailable, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is ill.

Additional Resources

  1. Algorithm for test interpretation when influenza is circulating in the community: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/diagnosis/algorithm-results-circulating.htm
  2. Complete summary of antiviral recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/summary-clinicians.htm
  3. Additional information on flu: http://www.texasflu.org/  and  https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm

 

 
   

 

 

REPORTING

If you suspect that an influenza outbreak may be occurring at a school, daycare, nursing home, or any institution, call the Texas Department of State Health Services, Public Health Region 8, at 210-949-2000 or through the 24/7 Disease Reporting Hotline at:

210-949-2121.

suspect that an influenza outbreak may be occurring at a school, daycare, nursing home, or any institution, call the Texas Department of State Health Services, Public Health Region 8, at 210-949-2000 or through the 24/7 Disease Reporting Hotline at:

210-949-2121.