November 29, 2018

November 29, 2018

Influenza Surveillance Update – Alicia Budd (CDC)

Alicia provided the influenza surveillance update for Week 47, ending November 24, 2018. Influenza activity in the United States has increased slightly. The increase in the percentage of patient visits for ILI may be influenced in part by a reduction in routine healthcare visits during the Thanksgiving holidays, as has occurred in previous seasons. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, influenza A(H3N2), and influenza B viruses continue to co-circulate, with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses reported most commonly by public health laboratories since September 30, 2018. Below is a summary of the key influenza indicators for the week ending November 24, 2018:

  • Viral Surveillance: Influenza A viruses have predominated in the United States since the beginning of July. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza in clinical laboratories was low.

Virus Characterization: The majority of influenza viruses characterized antigenically and genetically are similar to the cell-grown reference viruses representing the 2018–2019 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine viruses.

Antiviral Resistance: All viruses tested since late May show susceptibility to the antiviral drugs oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir.

  • Influenza-like Illness Surveillance: The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) increased to 2.3%, which is above the national baseline of 2.2%. Five of 10 regions reported ILI at or above their region-specific baseline level.

ILI State Activity Indictor Map: Two states experienced high ILI activity; three states experienced moderate ILI activity; New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and eight states experienced low ILI activity; and 37 states experienced minimal ILI activity.

  • Geographic Spread of Influenza: The geographic spread of influenza in five states was reported as regional; 16 states reported local activity; the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 28 states reported sporadic activity; and Guam and one state reported no influenza activity.
  • Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality: The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was below the system-specific epidemic threshold in the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Mortality Surveillance System.

Announcements – L.J Tan (IAC)
  • 2019 Summit In-Person Meeting – L.J reminded partners that the 2019 Summit meeting will take place on May 14–16 in Atlanta. Partners will be notified when registration information is available on the Summit website.

Note – The following announcements were shared via email after the call was concluded:

  • NIVW Resources from Families Fighting Flu – With the National Influenza Vaccination Week coming up, Families Fighting Flu has released resources to help us all with our NIVW campaigns! Thank you FFF! Please see below.
  • Updated AIM PPHF Fact Sheets – Two AIM factsheets (see below) have been updated to reflect the most updated fiscal information. Feel free to disseminate the factsheets to your stakeholders.

Explains the areas of immunization that PPHF grants have supported; grant amounts and impact of the grants.

Potential Impact of the Elimination of PPHF: Explains the potential impact of the elimination of PPHF funds on the 64 state, local and territorial immunization programs.

  • Flu fact sheet – AIM partnered with IAC to develop a factsheet that details ways in which influenza vaccination can help reduce the severity of illness and prevent disability due to influenza. The document also notes communications strategies that healthcare providers can use when talking to patients about getting their annual influenza vaccination. The one-pager is developed from the content of Dr. L.J Tan’s presentation on seasonal influenza vaccination effectiveness. Please feel free to circulate this one pager to healthcare providers, and other interested parties.
  • New Medscape Video – Medscape has released a program on the new influenza antiviral, baloxavir.
  • Summit Call Schedule – The Summit calls have resumed a weekly schedule. All calls take place on Thursdays at 3 p.m. ET. The next Summit call is scheduled for December 6.
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