Blog | Friday, January 11, 2013

QD: News Every Day--Virulent flu season on the upswing

A hard-hitting flu season is hitting that much harder now.

Forty-one states reported widespread flu for the week of December 23-29, 2012; an increase from 31 states the previous week. Patients seeking their doctors' help health care provider for influenza-like illness (ILI) is above the national baseline for the fourth consecutive week having climbed sharply from 2.8% to 5.6% over the past 4 weeks.

Twenty-nine states and New York City are now reporting high ILI activity compared to 16 states the week prior. Boston's mayor declared a state of emergency in response to 700 confirmed flu cases (10 times as many as last year) and four deaths. One city hospital reported its emergency room sees an additional 40 to 80 patietns a day, and another opened a previously closed wing, the Boston Globe reports.

The CDC updates flu activity statistics every Friday.

Annals of Internal Medicine has opened access to its flu resources. A list includes:
In the Clinic: Influenza
Chartrand et al, SR of rapid diagnostic tests for flu, April 2012
Hsu, Sys Review Antiviral Tx, April 2012
ACP JC Cochrane Review re: oseltamivir reducing sx but not hospitalization, Sept 2012
Earn et al, School closures, 7 Feb 2012
Khazeni, Sys Rev extended flu prophylaxis, 6 Oct 2009Cowling, Facemasks Handwashing and flu, 6 Oct 2009

For those who get the flu, a light-hearted app might help pass the time by scanning your Facebook feed for people who are complaining of their symptoms online in an effort to find out who gave you the flu.