Thursday, December 08, 2016

South Korean CDC Issues Early Influenza Epidemic Warning


Although seasonal influenza hasn't really taken off in North America yet, we are already seeing reports in Eastern Europe, and now in South Korea, indicating their flu seasons are already underway.

As the graphic above reminds, it isn't too late to get a flu shot.  But they take a couple of weeks to take effect, so sooner is safer than later. 

As has been expected, we are seeing primarily H3N2 reported this fall across the Northern Hemisphere, and this subtype generally produces a more severe flu season - particularly for the elderly - than does H1N1.

Today South Korea's CDC has issued their earliest influenza epidemic advisory since 2010.

Disease Control Headquarters, Influenza Epidemic Notice

□ The Disease Control Headquarters (Director General) has issued the influenza epidemic alert on Thursday, December 8, as the number of influenza doctor patients (similar symptom patients) * exceeded the epidemic level, and the high risk vaccination and hand washing, I asked for compliance with personal hygiene regulations such as keeping a cough manners.

* Influenza physician: A person with a sudden fever of more than 38 ° C with a cough or sore throat

○ The number of influenza doctor physicians will be 5.9 (/ 1,000), 48 (11.20 ~ 26) 7.3, and 49 (11.27 ~ 12.3) 13.5 (47.1 weeks, ) Exceeded the epidemic standard (8.9 persons).

- This year 's announcement is the fastest since 2010, and the currently isolated influenza virus is A (H3N2) type, and the genetic analysis revealed that it has similar antigenicity to vaccinia.
** Prior to the 2010-2011 season, the number of patients increased from November to the peak of the end of December to the beginning of January, but after the 2011-2012 season, it increased in December to reach the peak in February And is continuously monitoring the trend of influenza outbreak this year.

□ When the influenza epidemic is announced, the CDC is advised to take medical care at a nearby medical institution in case of suspected influenza symptoms **, because medical treatment is granted for high-risk patients * when antiviral medication is given.

* High risk group: Children under 9 years old including newborns with over 2 weeks maturity, pregnant women, over 65 years old, immune deficiency, metabolic disorders, heart disease, lung disease, kidney dysfunction etc.
** Suspected Influenza Symptoms: Cough or sore throat with fever above 38 ° C
□ In addition, to prevent the spread of influenza infection and prevent the spread of personal hygiene, such as thorough hand washing and cough manners,

In particular, those who are recommended to receive influenza vaccination * should be vaccinated at any time during the epidemic, while adults aged 65 and over can receive immunizations free of charge at public health centers.

* Elderly persons 65 years of age or older (free inoculation), children 6 to 59 months of age (free inoculation for 6 to 12 months or less), chronic disease patients, pregnant women, etc.
** Free vaccinations are available from the public health center until the vaccine is exhausted (vaccination reserves by public health centers may be different,

○ Healthy adolescents and adults have also been vaccinated autonomously because they can prevent learning and job vacancies due to influenza infection if they are vaccinated.

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