January 24, 2019

January 24, 2019

Influenza Surveillance Update – Alicia Budd (CDC)

Alicia provided an update on influenza activity reported for week 2, ending January 12, 2019. Influenza activity remains elevated across the country.

For the week, 12.4% of specimens sent to clinical laboratories tested positive for influenza. This is similar to the percentage reported during the previous week and is down from the almost 17% reported during week 52. It is too soon to know whether this is an actual decrease in activity. CDC will continue to monitor this closely. Influenza A (H1) remains the predominant strain reported from public health labs and in 9 of the 10 surveillance regions. Influenza H3 was the predominant strain reported in Region 4 (southeastern states) for week 49 – week 1. However, during week 2 the region reported a slightly higher number of H1 than H3 specimens. The amount of reported influenza B circulating viruses continues to remain low at approximately 3.5% for the season as a whole. Of these, 60% of the viruses tested at public health labs have been of the Yamagata lineage.

During this season, almost 562 viruses have received antigenic and genetic characterization. This data indicates the majority of viruses are similar to the reference viruses for this season’s vaccine components. In addition, almost 500 viruses have been tested for resistance to oseltamivir, peramivir, and zanamivir. Of these, one H1 specimen was found to have reduced susceptibility to oseltamivir. But no specimens were found to have high resistance to the 3 antiviral medications.

Outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) decreased during the week to 3.1%. We have now been above the national baseline for 8 consecutive weeks, and all 10 surveillance regions were above their region-specific baselines. However, this is the second week in which reported activity has declined from the previous week. On a state level, 9 states experienced high ILI levels, 13 states reported moderate activity, and the remaining 28 states were at low or minimal activity levels.

Cumulative reports to FluSurv-NET this season indicate a rate of 12.4/100,000 lab-confirmed influenza hospitalizations. Highest hospitalization rates were seen in persons >65 years at almost 32/100,000, followed by the 0–4 age group at 23.5/100,000 and the 50–64 age group at 16.3/100,000.

The percent of deaths reported due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) has remained below the epidemic threshold for each week in this reporting season. The current week reports indicate 6.9% of deaths were due to P&I, which is just below the threshold of 7.0%.

Three new influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during the week. Two deaths were associated with H1 infection and 1 was an influenza A virus infection which was not subtyped. A total of 19 pediatric deaths have been reported to CDC this season.

For the geographic spread of influenza during the week, 30 states reported widespread activity, 16 states reported regional activity, and 4 states reporting local or sporadic activity.

New FDA Approval of Fluzone Indication in Younger Children – Jennifer Havens (Sanofi Pasteur)

Jennifer announced that the FDA has approved the use of a 0.5 mL dose of Fluzone for children down to 6 months of age. This change will help providers simplify vaccine ordering and inventory by allowing them to use one vaccine dose level for all persons 6 months of age and older. This change affects the labeling for the current season’s vaccine, meaning providers can use already-received 2018–2019 vaccine with this new indication for children down to 6 months of age. Sanofi currently is taking reservations for the 2019–2020 vaccine, which will have this new label indication. The manufacturer plans to shift its production capabilities to allow for increased availability of 0.5 mL vaccine in pre-filled syringes.

Other Items – L.J Tan (IAC)
Print Friendly, PDF & Email