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Friday

The Week in Preparedness February 28, 2014

A brief of emergency preparedness from social media.





Tuesday

2013/2014 Flu Update #6


Update #6 for February 25, 2014

A long, slow march into the sunset 

This weeks Mitigation Journal Flu Update includes publicly available data from the CDC FluView, Google Flu Trends and other media sources.

This report contains data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2013/2014 Influenza season for week #7 for the period ending February 15, 2014.

In the News

CDC: Flu Vaccine 61% Effective
The CDC issued a report on February 20, 2014 claiming the current influenza vaccine to be sixty-one percent effective so far this season. The report notes those vaccinated have a lowered need to be seen by their doctor. CDC also notes that the 2014 influenza season has been, as in years past, particularly difficult for some age groups. We typically focus on extremes of age and those with comorbid conditions as being at risk for influenza related illness (ILI) or death. The trend over several years indicates hospitalizations and deaths attributed to ILI is growing in the "young and middle-age populations. The vaccination rate for these age groups has been estimated at 34%.

California Influenza ICU Admissions and Deaths
California is reporting the highest number of severe and fatal cases of seasonal influenza since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, according to Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The report states that there have been 94 deaths and 311 ICU admissions due to flu from September, 2013 to January, 2014.

WHO: No Changes to Vaccine for 2014-2015 Flu Season
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in a press release that it is keeping essentially the same vaccine profile for next year. The current vaccine is touted by CDC as being 61% effective and will keep the same influenza virus strains for next season. These strains include  - A/California/7/2009 (H1H1) pdm09, A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2), and B/Massachusetts/2/2012 in the trivalent vaccine. 

Social Media

 Flu by the CDC numbers

According to the CDC Flu View site:
During week 7 (February 9-15, 2014), influenza activity decreased, but remained elevated in the United States.
  • Viral Surveillance: Of 6,887 specimens tested and reported during week 7 by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories, 958 (13.9%) were positive for influenza.
  • Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality: The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was above the epidemic threshold.
  • Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths: Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported.
  • Influenza-associated Hospitalizations: A season-cumulative rate of 26.1 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population was reported.
  • Outpatient Illness Surveillance: The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 2.5%, above the national baseline of 2.0%. Nine of 10 regions reported ILI at or above region-specific baseline levels. Seven states experienced moderate ILI activity; 16 states and New York City experienced low ILI activity; 27 states experienced minimal ILI activity, and the District of Columbia had insufficient data.
  • Geographic Spread of Influenza: The geographic spread of influenza in 17 states was reported as widespread; 22 states reported regional influenza activity; the District of Columbia, Guam, and nine states reported local influenza activity; Puerto Rico and two states reported sporadic influenza activity, and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported no influenza activity.

Timeline Comparison

Below are CDC FluView maps that compare ILI Activity between corresponding weeks of 2012/2013 influenza season against the 2013/2014 season. The 2014 week 4 CDC map demonstrates considerably lower level of activity as compared to 2012/2013 map at this time.

2013/2014 CDC Flu Interactive Map for week 7, 2014


2012/2013 CDC Flu Interactive Map for week 7, 2013


Google Flu Trends

Google Flu Trends remains a trusted source for ILI activity and comparison data. According to Google Flu Trends ILI activity has progressed from moderate to high  overall with plateaus noted in other areas.

Monday

2013/2014 Flu Update #5


Update #5 for February 3, 2014

ILI activity continues, progressing 

This weeks Mitigation Journal Flu Update includes publicly available data from the CDC FluView, Google Flu Trends and other media sources.

This report contains data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2013/2014 Influenza season for week #5 for the period ending January 25, 2014.

In the News

WHO issues A(H7N9) Global Alert and Response Update
January 31, 2014. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a Global Alert and Response (GAR) Update based on reports from the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China and the Center for Health Protection (CHP) of China regarding six more cases of human infection with H7N9 avian influenza.

Numerous commonalities exist among the cases, according to the report.
All of the six cases are males. The age range is 2 to 63 years old. The cases are reported from Fujian (1), Guangdong (1), Hong Kong SAR (1), and Zhejiang (3). Four of the cases are currently in critical or serious condition. Four of the cases are reported to have had exposure to poultry or a live poultry market. Source: WHO/GAR
Follow up story from Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)
"...new cases lift the number reported in the second wave to 137, topping the 136 cases reported during the first wave last spring." CIDRAP

Social Media

A nice approach by NBC#3 in Syracuse, NY. Key message: 
  • Not too  late to get flu vaccine
  • Have symptoms, call you doctor (that's call your doctor...NOT go to the ED)
  • If your sick, stay home...appropriate social distancing
  • Flu cases (in this area) are lower
And then there's this short, self-limiting flu going around:

Biologic event "serious" threat in London, 2012...not so much in Sochi, 2014

 Flu by the CDC numbers

According to the CDC Flu View site:
During week 4 (January 19 - 25, 2014), shows a high rate of influenza activity in the United States.
  • Viral Surveillance: Of 9,514 specimens tested and reported during week 4 by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories, 2,006 (21.1%) were positive for influenza.
  • Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality: The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was above the epidemic threshold.
  • Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths: Nine influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported.
  • Influenza-associated Hospitalizations: A season-cumulative rate of 20.3 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population was reported.
  • Outpatient Illness Surveillance: The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 3.3%, above the national baseline of 2.0%. All 10 regions reported ILI above region-specific baseline levels. Ten states experienced high ILI activity; 12 states and New York City experienced moderate ILI activity; 14 states experienced low ILI activity; 14 states experienced minimal ILI activity, and the District of Columbia had insufficient data.
  • Geographic Spread of Influenza: The geographic spread of influenza in 38 states was reported as widespread; 10 states reported regional influenza activity; the District of Columbia and one state reported local influenza activity; Guam, Puerto Rico, and one state reported sporadic influenza activity, and the U.S. Virgin Islands did not report.

Timeline Comparison

Below are CDC FluView maps that compare ILI Activity between corresponding weeks of 2012/2013 influenza season against the 2013/2014 season. The 2014 week 4 CDC map demonstrates considerably lower level of activity as compared to 2012/2013 map at this time.

2013/2014 CDC Flu Interactive Map for week 4, 2014

2012/2013 CDC Flu Interactive Map for week 4, 2013



Google Flu Trends

Google Flu Trends remains a trusted source for ILI activity and comparison data. According to Google Flu Trends ILI activity has progressed from moderate to high  overall with plateaus noted in other areas.