March 30, 2016
Flu Update – Down But Not Out
- Evidence shows that influenza activity continues both in California and nationally. Increases in flu activity may occur in the coming weeks. Although unpredictable, the flu season usually peaks in mid-February. We are experiencing a later peak this year.
- This year’s vaccine is a close match for the types of flu in circulation, and is one of the most effective seasonal influenza vaccines in years.
- All orders and recommendations for masking of healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated will continue to be in effect until further notice!
- In addition to getting vaccinated, everyone should:
- Try to avoid close contact with sick persons as much as possible.
- Stay home from work or school when you are sick!!
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based
- Sierra Park Clinics (Family Med and Pediatrics in Mammoth Lakes) and Mammoth Hospital Emergency Department (ED) are continuing to see increased #’s of patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) as compared to baseline. It is too early to tell if flu-like activity has peaked or not.
- Northern Inyo Hospital (Bishop) is reporting some RSV, positive influenza tests in the ED and clinics, and several inpatient pneumonias.
- Alpine County’s Health and Human Services Department has been decimated by a cluster of employees with ILI over the last few weeks, with a confirmed positive test for the Type A H1N1 virus in one employee.
- Southern California counties are still reporting elevated levels of flu activity, although declining. The overall severity is less than last season. However, flu detections and flu-related deaths are still 2-4 times the average for this time of year.
- This has been a relatively mild flu season, with a peak that began later than usual. Influenza activity continues to be quite strong over most of North America and Europe. If this is seen year after year, it will require a review of vaccine recommendations and perhaps deliberation on the length of the official flu season.
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