Influenza Surveillance and ACIP Influenza Update – Alicia Budd (CDC)
Alicia reported that influenza activity during the first week of August was minimal.
Less than 1% of the respiratory specimens submitted to clinical labs were found to be positive. Similarly, <1% of outpatient visits to providers were due to influenza-related illness (ILI). Although the numbers are very low overall, both influenza A subtypes and both influenza B lineages have been reported.
Since the last Summit call, one additional influenza-associated pediatric death has been reported to CDC. This death occurred in March, but it has just now been confirmed and reported. A total of 179 pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2017–2018 season.
In last week’s FluView, CDC reported four new novel influenza A cases. All cases were influenza H1N2v (variant) viruses. Variant viruses typically circulate in swine, but they are considered “variant” when isolated from people. Variant viruses are seen more frequently in the summer months due to transmission which occurs during agricultural fair season. Two of the cases were reported from California, while the other two were reported from Michigan. All four were in children <18 years of age. No hospitalizations were required, and no human-to-human transmission was identified.
Alicia reminded partners that the ACIP’s influenza vaccine recommendations will be formally published in the MMWR on August 24, though they will be available for viewing online on August 23.
In response to a question, Alicia noted that the rates of influenza circulating this summer were low when compared to previous seasons. Influenza reports also have been low in other parts of the world. Activity remains low in the majority of the Southern hemisphere, such as in Australia and New Zealand.
Announcements – L.J Tan (IAC)
- Guidance for Leaders/Administrators in Long-Term Care Facilities Who Plan to Implement an Influenza Vaccination Requirement Policy for Health Care Personnel to Improve Influenza Vaccination Coverage – This new guidance document from the Summit’s Influenza Workgroup is now available on the Summit website. Within a day of its posting, the document was publicized by AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
- Summit Call Schedule – The next Summit call will be held in September. Weekly Summit calls will resume on Thursday, October 11 at 3 pm ET.