Influenza Update 12/3/21
Courtesy of Greg Gahm, MD
The good news is that this year is looking a lot like last year so far, i.e., to date there are almost no influenza outbreaks reported. That said, there have been scattered reports of cases around the country, so we cannot ignore it completely.
Task #1: It is time to make sure that all of your staff and residents are vaccinated.
Task #2: For anyone 65 or older, you need to be giving either the HIGH DOSE or the ADJUVANT vaccine. For younger persons, the seasonal quadrivalent vaccine would be indicated.
Only one state has “High” activity (New Mexico), while the rest of us have minimal to low activity (except Mississippi and Georgia with moderate activity).
This means that you do not need to be routinely testing for Influenza yet. With very few actual cases, you are far more likely to get a False Positive than a True Positive.
How will you know when to test?
- When it is reported that there is Influenza in the area;
- If you see patients who were in their normal state of health and then suddenly (over minutes or an hour or two) have a dramatic onset of high fever (usually >100 and perhaps as high as 104) and/or a nonproductive cough; and
- When you notice similar symptoms in several persons (patients + staff) over 1-2 days.