The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an update on influenza activity in the US between October 4, 2015 and February 6, 2016. Activity remained low up to early December though increased in mid-December, through to February. The influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 virus was the most predominant strain.
In their statement, the CDC urged healthcare professionals to continue to offer and encourage vaccination for unvaccinated persons aged >6 months throughout the influenza season. Antiviral medications are also recommended to reduce the impact of influenza, advising an approach of the-earlier-the-better, in treating influenza-like symptoms.
Of 279,056 respiratory specimens tested during the selected period, 7,966 (2.9%) were positive for influenza viruses. Seventy-three percent of these cases were of influenza A, while 27% were influenza B. To date, the majority of influenza viruses that have been antigenically or genetically characterized are similar to components of the 2015–16 Northern Hemisphere vaccine.
Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New York reported the most widespread influenza activity. One person in New Jersey was infected with a novel influenza A virus – (H3N2) variant§ (H3N2v) – the week before symptoms were noted the person had visited a farm where swine was present. The patient fully recovered and no human-to-human transmission was evidenced.
For more information visit CDC.gov.