Friday, February 02, 2018

CDC Media Advisory: Update On Widespread Flu

ILI Visits From Last Week's FluView (Wk 3)


With our severe flu season still in flu swing, later this morning (11 am EST) the CDC will hold another update (details below) as this week's FluView report (week 4) is released. While some parts of the country are beginning to see a drop in flu cases, other places - including my home state of Florida - are still rising.  
If you aren't among the millions who have already seen the viral video by Florida ER Nurse Kat Lockler, give yourself 6 minutes and watch.
As we discussed earlier this week in Why Flu Fatality Numbers Are So Hard To Determine, the experts can only estimate the full burden of influenza, since many flu cases are never diagnosed, and many flu-related deaths are never counted.

The weekly FluView report - which tells us about flu activity a week or more ago - can give us trends. Among the things we will be looking for are any signs of a leveling off, or (hopefully) a drop, in flu cases, the number of pediatric deaths, and any changes in the make up of flu cases around the country (a shift from H3N2 to H1N1 or Influenza B).
I would imagine there will be a good many media questions regarding yesterday's Eurosurveillance: Early Season Flu Surveillance & Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) - Canada report - which found the H3N2 vaccine component providing less than 20% effectiveness.
While disappointing, this year's vaccine was found to provide much more protection (55%) against influenza B, which may become a bigger factor as the season rolls on.  We may see even better results here in the United States where the quadrivalent vaccine is more commonly used.  We should get those preliminary numbers later this month.

My report on all of this could be a little delayed today, as I'm expected to be away from my desk. Details on how you can listen in on today's presser follow:

CDC update on widespread flu activity

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 1, 2018

Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

CDC will provide an update on the current flu season.

Anne Schuchat, M.D., RADM, USPHS, Acting Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dan Jernigan, M.D., M.P.H., CAPT, USPHS, Director, Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

Friday, February 2, at 11:00 a.m. ET

Media: 888-795-0855
Non-Media: 800-779-2638
International: 1-210-234-0009

Important Instructions
Media should dial in a few minutes before the start of the conference. If you would like to ask a question during the call, press *1 on your touchtone phone. Press *2 to withdraw your question. You may queue up at any time. You will hear a tone to indicate your question is pending.

A transcript of this media availability will be available following the briefing at CDC’s web site:

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