Friday, December 01, 2017

South Korean CDC Issues Early Influenza Warning

Update: As I was posting this blog, Sharon Sanders At FluTrackers was posting a similar report on increased Flu Activity in Japan.


Given the rough flu season just experienced in Australia, and concerns over the effectiveness of one of the major component of this year's flu vaccine (see ECDC: H3N2 Flu Vaccine Component Likely `Suboptimal', we're watching the progress of this winter's Northern Hemisphere flu season particularly closely. 
So far, flu reports from Russia, Hong Kong, and most of Europe have remained at low inter-seasonal levels. Last week's CDC FluView showed signs of increased flu activity in the deep south, and we are seeing anecdotal reports of  rising flu activity in the media.  We should get another FluView report later today.
FluTracker's China Seasonal Flu Tracking forum is reporting a surge in (mostly pediatric) flu cases in Shandong, Hunan, and Inner Mongolia, while today South Korea's CDC has issued their earliest influenza warning (Dec 1st) in recent memory. 
According to today's announcement influenza positive cases have jumped more than 45% (from 5.3/1000 to 7.7/1000) over the past three reporting weeks (45, 46 & 47), and now exceed the epidemic threshold of 6.6/1000. 
This (translated) statement from the South Korean CDC. 

Disease management headquarters, influenza pandemic warning

◇ Influenza pandemic Warning issued on December 1, 2017
◇ treatment recommendations for influenza vaccination and suspected symptoms
◇ Personal hygiene compliance, such as hand washing and cough etiquette for preventing and spreading infection

□ Disease Control Headquarters (11.19) is 47 weeks (the general manager) ~ 11.25 Influenza Doctor patient fraction * * * According to the above fashion standards, December 1 (Fri) Influenza pandemic Warning, and for prevention of influenza, vaccination and handwashing, cough etiquette, etc., personal hygiene tips were advised.
* Influenza Doctor Patient: Over 38 ℃, with sudden fever, coughing or throat pain
* * 2017-2018 season Influenza epidemic Standard: 6.6 persons/1,000 people (2016-2017 season 8.9)
(Influenza pandemic Reference formula: The average influenza doctor patient (ILI) fraction of the past three years and the parable line period + 2 × standard deviation)

○ Influenza Doctor, 45 weeks (11.5. ~ 11.11.) 5.3 People (/1,000 people), 46 weeks (11.12. ~ 11.18.) 6.3 People, 47 weeks (11.19. ~ 11.25.) 7.7 People in Vogue Standard (6.6 people) exceeded.

□ In addition, even if the epidemic began to prevent influenza infection and spread, the vaccination was repeatedly advised to receive influenza vaccination.

○ We are supporting free vaccination for children up to 59 months and less than six months in the year, and 48.8% (Jeju 46.5% ~ Chungnam, 50.3%) have completed their inoculation, so that they have been advised to be vaccinated with the guardians of children who have not yet been vaccinated.
* < Extensions 3.2017-2018 Children's Influenza vaccination status > reference

○ Also, "In addition to the free vaccination box, pregnant women, patients, influenza high-risk military and healthy youth and adults, such as the population of 50 to 64 years of age, even if the pandemic influenza epidemic began to prevent infection, it is necessary," said the vaccination.

□ If the disease Control Division is positive in the influenza test, the urinary tract salary of the antiviral is recognized, in particular, when a pandemic warning is issued, the high risk * patients are advised to receive early treatment at a medical institution near the hospital if they have influenza suspected symptoms, as the antiviral is not tested without influenza.
* High risk: Children aged 9 or younger, including infants over two weeks of maturity, pregnant women, aged 65 or older, immune depatients, metabolic disorders, heart disease, lung disease, kidney dysfunction, etc.

□ In addition, in the group facilities such as childcare facilities, schools, and nursing facilities, special care should be noted for prevention and patient care.

○ Infants and students should be prevented from the outbreak of influenza symptoms in order to prevent the epidemic within 5 days from the date of the onset of the disease, and the ․ of children's house, kindergarten, school and school, etc., until 48 hours after the recovery of body temperature without heat.

○ in facilities where high-risk groups, such as elderly and nursing facilities, are vaccinated with employees and inmates, to strengthen the monitoring of the influenza symptoms of the inmates and limit the visits of visitors with respiratory symptoms, the symptoms must be separated separately to make a living.

□ In addition, in order to prevent influenza, we emphasize that personal hygiene tips such as proper hand washing, cough etiquette, etc., should be reconciled to life.
(Continue . . .)

Despite concerns over this year's flu shot (discussed at length here, here, and here) we really won't know how effective it will be against this year's H3N2 virus, and there are reasons to believe it may be reasonably protective against both H1N1 and influenza B.
Even if this year's shot doesn't prevent the flu, there is evidence it may lessen the severity or duration of your illness. 
Admittedly, we're not facing an ideal scenario - but getting the flu shot - along with practicing good flu hygiene (covering your coughs, washing your hands, staying home when you are sick, etc.) still remain the best steps you can take to stay healthy during what may turn out to be a particularly difficult flu season ahead.

For more on this, you may wish to revisit:
More Evidence Flu Shots May Improve Outcomes In Critical Patients
Study: Flu Vaccine May Reduce Heart Attack Risk

CID Journal: Flu Vaccine Reduces Severe Outcomes in Hospitalized Patients

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