CDC Issues Severe Influenza Illness Health Advisory

Influenza is spreading across the nation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) severe influenza illness health advisory has an urgent message for physicians. 

CDC advises physicians not to wait for testing to begin rapid antiviral treatment of very ill and high-risk suspected influenza patients, those with progressive disease, and all hospitalized patients. The agency also encourages clinicians to vaccinate patients this season for as long as influenza viruses are circulating. CDC has received reports of severe respiratory illness among young to middle-aged adults with H1N1pdm09 virus infection, some of whom required intensive care unit admission. CDC has also received reports of fatalities from severe influenza illness. 

CDC's advisory says some of these patients reportedly tested negative for influenza by rapid influenza diagnostic test, adding their influenza diagnosis came later with molecular assays. Most of these patients were reportedly unvaccinated, according to CDC. 

The health advisory outlines CDC's full recommendations for clinicians, including treatment with appropriate neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral drugs.

More Information

Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report Summary 
People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications 
Clinical Signs and Symptoms of Influenza 
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommendations for Influenza Prevention and Control 
Influenza Antiviral Medications: Summary for Clinicians 
Guidance for Clinicians on the Use of Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests

Action, Feb. 16, 2016

Last Updated On

June 17, 2016

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