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Immunizations
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2017

CDC publishes influenza update for October-November

IAC Express

CDC published Update: Influenza Activity—United States, October 1–November 25, 2017 in the December 8 issue of MMWR (pages 1318–1326). A media summary is reprinted below.

Since influenza activity is just beginning to increase, receiving influenza vaccine at this time should still offer substantial public health benefit. Health care providers should recommend influenza vaccine now and throughout the influenza season to all unvaccinated people 6 months and older who do not have contraindications. Prescription antiviral medications can treat influenza illness and are recommended for use in patients who are very sick with influenza or who are sick and at high risk of serious influenza complications. Influenza antiviral drugs can lessen duration and severity of illness and help prevent more severe illness. Influenza activity in the United States remained low during October 2017 but has been increasing since early November with influenza A (H3N2) viruses being most frequently identified. Almost all influenza viruses collected so far are similar to the cell-derived reference viruses representing 2017–18 season influenza vaccines. Annual vaccination varies in its effectiveness but it is the best available method for preventing influenza and its complications. Since the 2017­–18 influenza season is just beginning, receiving an influenza vaccine now should still offer substantial public health benefit. Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated should get vaccinated as soon as possible.