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Current Trends Update: Influenza Activity -- United States

Alaska: Alaska reported widespread outbreaks of influenza-like illness for the weeks ending November 30, and December 7, 1985, and was the only state to report outbreaks for either week. Sixteen viruses isolated from patients involved in ongoing outbreaks throughout the state have been preliminarily identified as influenza type A(H3N2).

Hawaii: Influenza type A(H1N1)virus was isolated from 7-year-old boy on the island of Oahu who had onset of illness around November 20; no further cases have been detected.

New York: Influenza type A(H3N2) virus was isolated from an 11-year-old Rochester boy with influenza-like illness. This case, with onset in mid-November, was the only one associated with influenza virus, although the laboratory has identified respiratory syncytial virus from several recent cases of febrile respiratory illness in children.

Texas: Influenza type B virus was isolated from a 40-year-old Houston man with typical influenza-like illness. The man had onset of illness November 14; no further cases have been detected. Reported by D Ritter, Northern Regional Laboratory, JP Middaugh, MD, State Epidemiologist, Div of Public Health, Alaska Dept of Health and Social Svcs; G Kobyashi, G Kunimoto, Virology Section, Laboratories Br, AP Liang, MD, State Epidemiologist, Hawaii Dept of Health; CB Hall, MD, University of Rochester Medical Center, DL Morse, MD, State Epidemiologist, New York State Dept of Health; Influenza Research Center, Baylor University School of Medicine, Houston, CE Alexander, MD, State Epidemiologist, Texas Dept of Health; Div of Field Svcs, Epidemiology Program Office, Influenza Br, Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

Editorial Note

Editorial Note: The reports above document the current circulation in the United States of the three major types of influenza virus that have caused outbreaks in recent seasons. Available influenza vaccines include components representing each of these influenza types. Despite the occurrence of type A(H3N2) outbreaks in Alaska, it is not possible to predict which influenza virus type will be most active in the continental United States during the coming season or the level of activity that may occur. Health-care personnel should continue efforts to vaccinate persons in high-risk groups who have not yet received the 1985-1986 immunization and continue their contingency planning for deploying the available antiviral agent, amantadine, in the event that outbreaks of type A influenza occur among their high-risk patients. Particular attention should be given to the revised amantadine dosage recommendations (100 mg/day) for persons aged 65 years and older (1).

Reference

  1. ACIP. Prevention and control of influenza. MMWR 1985;34:261-8, 273-5.

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