Flu epidemic continues, encourage preventive measures

January 29, 2013

Influenza activity remains elevated in most of the country, according to the latest FluView report from the CDC for the week of January 13-19.

 

Influenza activity remains elevated in most of the country, according to the latest FluView report from the CDC for the week of January 13-19.

Some national indicators are declining while others are increasing. In general, influenza-like-illness activity levels are declining in the South, Southeast, New England, and the Midwest, but increasing in the Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, and the Northwest.

Key indicators reflecting severity, such as hospitalizations and deaths, increased significantly again this week, with the greatest impact among people aged 65 and older. Of the 6,191 influenza-associated hospitalizations that have been reported this season, 50.1% have been among people aged 65 and older.

“While some part of the United States continue to experience declines in influenza activity, there are others that are still experiencing increases in the virus resulting in hospitalizations and death,” said Formulary Advisor Abimbola Farinde, PharmD, MS, clinical staff pharmacist at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, in Webster, Texas.

“It is important for healthcare providers to reiterate to the public the importance of vaccination as a preventive measure, and the use of antiviral treatments as a means of curtailing the rising incidences and at times possible fatality that can result from untreated flu-related complications,” Dr Farinde said.