- Announcement: 2018 Summit In-Person Meeting – L.J Tan
- Influenza Surveillance Update – Alicia Budd (CDC)
- Upcoming Seasonal Flu Campaign Digital Activities – Kathleen LaPorte (CDC)
Announcement: 2018 Summit In-Person Meeting – L.J Tan
L.J reminded callers that the 2018 Summit in-person meeting will be held in conjunction with the National Immunization Conference (NIC) in Atlanta, Georgia. The NIC will be May 15-17 and the Summit will be May 17–18. The overlap on May 17 is the result of moving featured adult immunization speakers who normally would have been part of the Summit to the last day of NIC. In this way, a participant in the Summit who is unable to attend the entire NIC will be able to hear these featured speakers on Thursday and then stay through Friday for the Summit’s regular workgroup meetings, influenza content (including the manufacturer updates), and awards luncheon. In addition, a networking poster session will occur on Thursday evening. It is important to note that an adult immunization track will be conducted throughout the NIC, and persons are encouraged to spend the entire week learning about immunizations at both the NIC and the Summit. However, those attending only the Summit should plan to arrive on the evening of May 16 and depart after 4 p.m. on May 18. Registration instructions and other Information about the meeting will be posted on the Summit website as the Summit Organizing Committee finalizes the agenda and other details about the meeting.
Influenza Surveillance Update – Alicia Budd (CDC)
Alicia provided highlights of the influenza surveillance report from week 40, ending on October 7, 2017. This is the first report for the 2017–2018 season. Overall, we continue to see low levels of influenza throughout the country, but activity is slowly beginning to increase.
The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza in clinical laboratories was 2.7%. Of these, approximately 2/3 were influenza A viruses. The majority of specimens (89%) tested at public health laboratories were influenza A(H3N2). All of the influenza B specimens for which lineage information is available have been the B Yamagata strain. Almost all specimens tested by CDC were similar to the vaccine strains. (B Yamagata is included in this year’s quadrivalent vaccine, but not the trivalent vaccine.) No anti-viral resistance has been detected to date.
Nationwide, influenza-like illness (ILI) activity was at 1.4%, below the national baseline of 2.2%. Now that we have begun the season, ILI information also is available on a state level, with activity summarized as minimal, low, medium, or high. Last week all 50 states, New York City, and the District of Columbia reported minimal ILI activity. This year for the first time, state-level ILI and laboratory data is available on FluView Interactive.
Based on reports from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) surveillance system available for the week ending September 23, 5.4% of deaths were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I). This percentage is below the epidemic threshold of 6.0% for the week.
No new influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported during week 40, meaning the total for this season remains at 0. A total of 107 pediatric deaths occurred during the 2016–2017 season.
The geographic spread of influenza is reported weekly by state and territorial epidemiologists. For week 40, 10 states reported no activity, 38 states and the District of Columbia reported sporadic activity, 2 states (Colorado and South Carolina) reported local activity, 0 states reported regional activity, and Guam reported widespread activity.
Upcoming Seasonal Flu Campaign Digital Activities – Kathleen LaPorte (CDC)
Kathleen provided a brief presentation on CDC’s digital toolkit, known as a “campaign in a box.” This site provides the most up to date information on social media activations, National Influenza Vaccination Week, communication materials such as posters and flyers, images that can be placed on social media or websites, and other great resources.
CDC has planned several upcoming digital events. A Blog-a-Thon will take place on November 6–11. This event will kick off on CDC’s Public Health Matters blog on November 6. CDC’s post will focus on encouraging providers to make a strong flu vaccine recommendation to patients and arming them with the information they need to respond to questions about flu season and the available vaccines. CDC encourages partners to blog and post on their websites about the importance of flu vaccine. A blog-a-thon badge is available soon to include with your post. Be sure to tag your post with @CDCFlu. You can send your post to CDC to be featured on CDC’s blog-a-thon recap list.
Several social media events are included in this year’s plans. CDC has a “Fight Flu” Facebook frame which can be added to an individual’s or organization’s Facebook page. To do this, go to the Facebook profile pictures frame site, search “CDC” to find the frame, select a frame from the menu, and click “Use as profile picture” to save.
CDC is participating in a Twitter Chat with Humana on October 26 from 1–2 pm ET. You can join the conversation at #FluChat and follow the information using @CDCFlu or @Humana.
Kathleen noted that several events already have taken place for this year’s campaign, including:
- NFID press conference to kick off the 2017–2018 season
- Medscape Facebook LIVE presentation with Dr. Dan Jernigan focused on flu vaccination and the upcoming season
- CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) on The Role of Healthcare Professionals in Protecting Older Adults Against Influenza
Another COCA call scheduled for November 7 will feature representatives from CDC and AAP discussing influenza recommendations for children.
Digital events and a toolkit will be available soon for National Influenza Immunization Week (NIVW), which will be held on December 3–9. One event already announced for the week is an NFID Twitter Chat scheduled for December 4 at 1 p.m. ET. The Twitter Chat will feature experts from CDC and Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, Seattle Mama Doc.