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Update: Influenza Activity -- United States

Alaska. For the week ending December 14, 1985, Alaska reported its third consecutive week of widespread influenza outbreaks. Alaska is the only state to report outbreaks during this period. The Northern Regional Laboratory has identified 48 influenza viruses--36 type A(H3N2) and 12 type B. Most of the type B isolates have been identified from patients with recent onset of illness. Absentee rates in many primary and secondary schools in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau increased to above 20% in association with outbreaks of influenza-like illness (1). In one high school, located approximately 100 miles east of Anchorage, absentee rates increased from the usual 5% (8/167) to 47% before gradually returning to normal. Increased absenteeism has also been noted among adults. As a result of an outbreak of influenza-like illness, the absentee rate in the nursing staff of an Anchorage hospital increased from the usual 1% (5/340) to a peak of 12% on December 3.

Texas. In late November, four type B viruses were isolated in association with sporadic influenza cases in Houston. Earlier isolates from Texas--a type A(H3N2) in October and a type B in mid-November--were also associated with sporadic activity.

Washington, Colorado. Influenza virus type A(H3N2) has been isolated from a 26-year-old woman in Chelan County, Washington, who had onset of influenza December 3, and from a 48-year-old Denver, Colorado man who had onset December 8. These are the first reports of influenza virus isolates from these states this season. Reported by D Ritter, Northern Regional Laboratory, JP Middaugh, MD, State Epidemiologist, Div of Public Health, Alaska Dept of Health and Social Svcs; Influenza Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, CE Alexander, MD, State Epidemiologist, Texas Dept of Health; S Mills, V Shinn, J Allard, PhD, Director, Washington State Public Health Lab, J Kobayashi, MD, State Epidemiologist, Washington Dept of Social and Health Svcs; G Meiklejohn, MD, M Levin, MD, Health Svcs, University of Colorado, Denver, SW Ferguson, PhD, State Epidemiologist, Colorado Dept of Health; Div of Field Svcs, Epidemiology Program Office, Influenza Br, Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.


  1. CDC. Update: influenza activity--United States. MMWR 1985;34:741-2, 747.

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