CDC Warns of Increasing Seasonal Influenza Activity

Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a national health advisory about increased influenza A(H3N2) activity that could mark the beginning of the 2021-22 influenza season. The CDC notes that while influenza activity is still low overall nationally, an increase of the influenza strain A(H3N2) has been detected in recent weeks with most infections occurring among young adults, including at colleges and universities. The CDC further indicates influenza vaccination coverage is low, but there remains time this season to benefit from an annual influenza vaccine.

The CDC health advisory includes the following primary recommendations:

  • Remind public health practitioners and clinicians to recommend and offer the current seasonal influenza vaccine to all eligible persons ages six months and older (flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine can be administered during the same visit)
  • Remind clinicians to consider testing for both influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 in patients with influenza-like illness (ILI)
  • Advise clinicians that antiviral treatment is recommended as early as possible for any patient with confirmed or suspected influenza who is hospitalized, at a higher risk for influenza complications, or developing progressive illness.
  • Remind public health practitioners and clinicians to consider mitigation measures including antiviral post-exposure prophylaxis during influenza outbreaks in institutions in the setting of co-circulation of SARS-CoV-2
  • Remind the public to use non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) or everyday preventive actions in addition to receiving an influenza vaccine

The full CDC health advisory is available here.