6/7/2013 - CDC. CDC Health Update - Human Infections with Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Viruses. This health advisory provides an update on the avian influenza A (H7N9) virus [H7N9] situation and includes new recommendations on who should be tested for H7N9 in the United States. This document replaces guidance published on April 5, 2013, in CDC Health Advisory 344 "Human Infections with Novel Influenza A (H7N9) Viruses," found at http://emergency.cdc.gov/HAN/han00344.asp. The updated guidance reflects the most current epidemiology of H7N9 cases, which indicates that almost all H7N9 human infections have resulted in severe respiratory illness; H7N9 has been found rarely among those with milder disease. For that reason, CDC is changing its recommendations for H7N9 testing: The primary changes from previous guidance are (i) a new recommendation to test only patients with an appropriate exposure history and severe respiratory illness requiring hospitalization and (ii) a request that only confirmed and probable cases of human infection with H7N9 be reported to CDC. In the previous guidance issued on April 5, CDC recommended that all persons with relevant exposure history and illness compatible with influenza, regardless of severity be tested. CDC will continue to update these recommendations as more information becomes available. The current guidance is consistent with interim surveillance recommendations by the World Health Organization for H7N9 found at http://www.who.int/influenza/human_animal_interface/influenza_h7n9/InterimSurveillanceRecH7N9_10May13.pdf.
1/18/13 - MDPH. This week's MA flu report indicates that the rate of flu-like illness in the state has dropped for the second week in a row. Visit http://publichealth.blog.state.ma.us/2013/01/weekly-flu-report-january-18-2013.html for details. Please note that the report indicates that sentinel providers define influenza-like-illness (ILI) as fever above 100.01 in addition to either cough or sore throat. For information on national influenza surveillance please visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/summary.htm for a situation update and http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/ for the new CDC influenza surveillance report. In addition, CDC has released a Notice to Clinicians regarding CDC recommendations for influenza antiviral medications that can be found at http://emergency.cdc.gov/HAN/han00339.asp.
1/16/13 - CDC Health Advisory: Recommendations for Clinicians for Influenza Antiviral Medications. CDC continues to recommend antiviral medications for treatment of seasonal influenza and annual vaccination as the best tools for prevention. Evidence from past influenza seasons and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic has shown that treatment with antiviral medications can have clinical and public health benefit in reducing severe outcomes of influenza when initiated as soon as possible after illness onset. Clinical trials and observational data show that early antiviral treatment may do the following:
- shorten the duration of fever and illness symptoms
- reduce the risk of complications from influenza (e.g., otitis media in young children, pneumonia, respiratory failure) and death
- shorten the duration of hospitalization
1/9/13 - The city of Boston declared a public health emergency as a result of impact of an early flu season overwhelming health systems around the city. At the request of Mayor Thomas Menino, community health centers in the city of Boston will be conducting public flu clinics over the weekend of January 11, 12 and 13. To find a free flu clinic in Boston, go to the Boston Flu Clinic Finder.
- Flu vaccine available at doctor's offices, health centers, pharmacies. 1/10/13, Boston Globe
- Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency. 1/10/13, WBUR
- Flu picks up steam across the U.S. 1/9/2013, CNN
- 1/8/13 - MDPH. To help reduce the impact of flu on the health care system, the Department of Public Health has developed a brochure, low-literacy brochure, and poster “Flu: What You Can Do ? Caring for People at Home” as an informational resource to help residents care for themselves and their families without having to visit their health care provider. The materials explain basic concepts such as:
- What the difference is between a cold and the flu
- How to keep from getting the flu
- How to care for someone who has the flu
- When a person should call the doctor, or seek immediate assistance through 911
Flu: What You Can Do is available at no cost in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Vietnamese, Russian, Khmer, and Chinese. All versions are available for immediate download or in hard copy format in bulk quantities at http://www.maclearinghouse.com/category/FLU.html
Handwashing materials are available in multiple languages at http://www.maclearinghouse.com/category/HAND.html
MDPH encourages you to make this important informational resource available for your customers, patients, visitors, or other constituents.
- CDC. Flu Activity & Surveillance
- CDC. Q&A: What's new about the flu vaccine for this flu season?
- CDC. Prevention Strategies for Seasonal Influenza in Healthcare Settings
- CDC. CDC adds videos, psas, and web tools for use during the influenza season.
- CDC. Information for Health Professionals
- Immunization Action Coalition. Vaccine Information Statements