Flu activity is low in the United States, but flu outbreaks can happen as early as October. Flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths every season.
More than 76 million doses of 2015-16 flu vaccine have been distributed so far. This season’s vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. While how well the vaccine works can vary, flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu. Vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school, as well as prevent hospitalizations.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for protection to set in so start thinking about getting vaccinated now. Find a Vaccine
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There are many different influenza A viruses; some are found in humans and others in animals such as avian flu in birds and poultry.
U.S. H5 Viruses: Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 infections have been reported in U.S. birds and poultry. No human infections with these viruses have been detected at this time, however similar viruses have infected people in other countries and caused serious illness and death in some cases.
Influenza viruses that normally circulate in pigs are called “variant” viruses when they are found in people. Influenza A H3N2 variant viruses (also known as “H3N2v” viruses) with the matrix (M) gene from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus were first detected in people in July 2011.
CDC’s pandemic preparedness efforts include ongoing surveillance of human and animal influenza viruses, risk assessments of influenza viruses with pandemic potential, and the development and improvement of preparedness tools that can aid public health practitioners in the event of an influenza pandemic.
Bat influenza refers to influenza A viruses found in bats. Laboratory research at CDC suggests these viruses would need to undergo significant changes to become capable of infecting and spreading easily among humans. Little yellow shouldered bats are not native to the continental United States, but are common in Central and South America.
Influenza A viruses are found in humans and many different animals, including ducks, chickens, pigs, whales, horses and seals. Additional information on 2009 H1N1 influenza, Flu.gov, and Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs).
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The latest report on CDC's international flu activities highlights the progress that has been made over the past two fiscal years in establishing, expanding and maintaining influenza surveillance and laboratory capacity in more than 50 countries around the world where CDC has provided support.
- UPDATE: Rapid Diagnostic Testing for Influenza: Information for Health Care Professionals Friday, October 02, 2015
- UPDATE: Guidance for Clinicians on the Use of Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests Friday, October 02, 2015
- UPDATE: Rapid Diagnostic Testing for Influenza: Information for Clinical Laboratory Directors Friday, October 02, 2015
- UPDATE: Influenza Signs and Symptoms and the Role of Laboratory Diagnostics Friday, October 02, 2015
- FluView - Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report Friday, July 10, 2015
- Page last reviewed: October 2, 2015
- Page last updated: October 2, 2015
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