The Exchange

Commentary and Observations from
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Influenza-like Illness Activity Has Been High for Weeks…and Continues to Increase

Influenza-like Illness Activity Has Been High for Weeks…and Continues to Increase

The CDC reports that influenza-like illness activity has been high for weeks, and is continuing to increase. Combined with the fact that influenza B (Victoria strain) is the predominant strain being reported, this is an unusual influenza season. Normally type B flu peaks in March and April. The good news is that this year's vaccine appears to be a good match for the Victoria strain.

The CDC is currently reporting high influenza activity across a wide swath of the southern US, as well as a handful of other states and Puerto Rico. Currently, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington are reporting high levels of activity. Another 14 states, plus New York City, are reporting moderate activity.

There is a take-home message here: it is still not too late to get vaccinated! If, for some reason, you simply haven't gotten around to it, get your flu vaccination today. Be sure to remind all of your unvaccinated patients to get vaccinated as wellespecially the young, old, and pregnant, all of whom are at higher risk for complications. Remember, immunity isn't immediate or guaranteed; it takes about 2 weeks for immunity to build, but the benefits are immeasurable.

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Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Public Health

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