Influenza

Fast FactsFor Your PatientsInfluenzaContinuing Education

MMWR: Recommendations of ACIP for the 2017-2018 Flu Season

Read the full text here.

Summary

  • Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications.
  • Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) is not recommended for use during the 2017–18 season due to concerns about its effectiveness against (H1N1)pdm09 viruses during the 2013–14 and 2015–16 seasons.
  • Pregnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate influenza vaccine.
  • Vaccine viruses included in the 2017–18 U.S. trivalent influenza vaccines will be an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09–like virus, an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008–like virus (Victoria lineage). Quadrivalent influenza vaccines will contain these three viruses and an additional influenza B vaccine virus, a B/Phuket/3073/2013–like virus (Yamagata lineage).

Fast Facts

    • Anyone can get the flu; it is contagious disease spread by coughing, sneezing, and close contact.
    • Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days.
    • Symptoms include: fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, runny nose
    • Flu is more dangerous for infants, young children, adults over 65, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic diseases and weakened immune systems.
    • A dose of the flu vaccine is recommended every year for those over the age of 6 months.

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For Your Patients

Free Print Materials from the CDC.
Infographic: The Benefits of Flu Vaccination
Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Information Statement: English | Spanish
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Influenza (aka the flu, grippe)

From the CDC’s Pink Book:

Influenza is a highly infectious viral illness. The name “influenza” originated in 15th century Italy, from an epidemic attributed to “influence of the stars.” The first pandemic, or worldwide epidemic, that clearly fits the description of influenza was in 1580. At least four pandemics of influenza occurred in the 19th century, and three occurred in the 20th century. The pandemic of “Spanish” influenza in 1918–1919 caused an estimated 21 million deaths worldwide. The first pandemic of the 21st century occurred in 2009–2010.

Influenza is a single-stranded, helically shaped, RNA virus of the orthomyxovirus family. Basic antigen types A, B, and C are determined by the nuclear material. Type A influenza has subtypes that are determined by the surface antigens hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). Three types of hemagglutinin in humans (H1, H2, and H3) have a role in virus attachment to cells. Two types of neuraminidase (N1 and N2) have a role in virus penetration into cells.

Influenza A causes moderate to severe illness and affects all age groups. The virus infects humans and other animals. Influenza A viruses are perpetuated in nature by wild birds, predominantly waterfowl. Most of these viruses are not pathogenic to their natural hosts and do not change or evolve. Influenza B generally causes milder disease than type A and primarily affects children. Influenza B is more stable than influenza A, with less antigenic drift and consequent immunologic stability. It affects only humans. Influenza C is rarely reported as a cause of human illness, probably because most cases are subclinical. It has not been associated with epidemic disease.

The nomenclature to describe the type of influenza virus is expressed in this order: 1) virus type, 2) geographic origin where it was first isolated, 3) strain number, 4) year of isolation, and 5) virus subtype.

2016-2017 Flu Surveillance: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

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Continuing Education

You Call The Shots: Influenza (Updated to reflect 2016-2017 season)
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/training/
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