From the Media
The World Cup and influenza
Are any of your patients heading to Brazil for the World Cup soccer games? If so, did they have their annual influenza vaccine last season? If the answer is no, you may want to encourage them to get the vaccine prior to traveling because even as our influenza season winds down, influenza infections are increasing as the season begins in the Southern Hemisphere. In fact, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has reported about 11 percent of respiratory viral samples are currently testing positive for influenza. As a result, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released guidance related to influenza and the World Cup to share with travelers. A dedicated World Cup page offers additional travel information and considerations for those heading to Brazil.
In addition, as your patients return from trips to the Southern Hemisphere, influenza is something that should be considered when diagnosing a respiratory illness.
Other recent influenza news
- 2014-2015 U.S. influenza vaccines will contain the same constituents as the previous year’s version. Components will include:
- A/California/7/2009-like (2009 H1N1) virus
- A/Texas/50/2012-like (H3N2) virus
- B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus
- Quadrivalent versions will also contain B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus
Additional information is available in the June 6, 2014 MMWR.
- The U.S. CDC recently published a summary of the 2013-2014 influenza season in the June 6, 2014 MMWR:
- Activity peaked in late December.
- This was the first season since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic season in which pH1N1 influenza A virus predominated although H3N2 and B strains also circulated.
- Mortality and outpatient illness rates were lower than usual, but hospitalizations of those aged 50-64 years of age were higher.
- Levels of antibiotic resistance to oseltamivir and zanamivir were low, but influenza A strains continued to be resistant to adamantanes.
- About 89 percent of hospitalized adults had at least one underlying condition. The most frequent of which included obesity, metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease.
- Of hospitalized children, about 57 percent had an underlying condition with the most frequent including asthma and neurologic disorders.
- About 22 percent of hospitalized women of childbearing age (15-44 years old) were pregnant.
- Ninety-six children died as a result of influenza infections.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) also recently published a summary of the 2013-2014 influenza season in the Northern Hemisphere. The report highlighted differences between timing of the season as well as subtype distributions in different regions of the Northern Hemisphere including North America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and North Asia.