Sunday, November 1, 2009

Are you ready for the Flu? Its everywhere

Look at the graph above from FluView, a weekly influenza surveillance report prepared by the Influenza Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All but two of the states are now reporting widespread influenza activity. Almost all of the influenza viruses identified so far are 2009 H1N1 influenza A viruses. These viruses remain similar to the virus chosen for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and remain susceptible to the antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir with rare exception.

As you can see from the next graph, the tests for H1N1 Flu is rising extremely rapidly. Here is a summary of those most susceptible to the disease:

Early empiric treatment should be considered for persons with suspected or confirmed influenza who are at higher risk for complications, even if not hospitalized, including:

Children younger than 2 years old

Adults 65 years and older

Pregnant women

Persons with the following conditions:

  • Chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, hematological (including sickle cell disease), or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);
  • Disorders that that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions or that can increase the risk for aspiration (e.g., cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders)
  • Immunosuppression, including that caused by medications or by HIV;
  • Persons younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy, because of an increased risk for Reye syndrome.
Stay tuned for more information on this serious health threat.

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