Influenza activity has increased significantly in California and in Marin County over the last few weeks, and influenza A (H3N2) is currently predominating this season. In general, H3N2 is associated with more deaths and hospitalizations in persons 65 years and older and in children under 2 years old. Marin County Emergency Departments (EDs) are managing a high volume of influenza patients. Most patients evaluated for influenza-like illness (ILI)1 in EDs are sent home. Clinicians can help protect ED resources for patients who require emergency response by managing lower risk ILI on an outpatient basis. While vaccine effectiveness this season is lower than most years, the recommendations for immunization with seasonal influenza vaccine remain the same. Even when vaccine effectiveness is limited, immunization prevents illnesses and hospitalizations, decreases severity of disease, and offers protection against other strains of influenza that are circulating.
Additional Resources Marin County Public Health – www.marinflu.org
CDC – www.cdc.gov/flu