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Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Update: Influenza Virus Activity -- United States

Influenza type A(H3N2) virus has now been isolated from patients in 24 states. Nine of these (Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, and South Dakota) have reported their first isolates of the season from patients with onset from late December 1982 through mid-January 1983. The first influenza type B isolate from the United States this season was obtained from a 42-year-old male in Houston, Texas, who developed influenza on December 20. The first influenza type A(H1N1) isolates were obtained from two Chicago residents. The first, a 10-year-old male, had onset of illness on December 27, 1982, and was hospitalized with severe asthma on December 29. He recovered and was discharged on January 8. The other, a 26-year-old female, had typical influenza-like illness. Most of the influenza isolations mentioned above (except those in Idaho and South Dakota) have been associated with sporadic activity.

Minnesota is reporting widespread influenza activity with outbreaks in 35 of its 87 counties. Although the first reported outbreaks occurred in nursing home populations (1), all age groups are The other, a 26-year-old female, had typical influenza-like illness. Most of the influenza isolations mentioned above (except those in Idaho and South Dakota) have been associated with sporadic activity.

Minnesota is reporting widespread influenza activity with outbreaks in 35 of its 87 counties. Although the first reported outbreaks occurred in nursing home populations (1), all age groups are now affected, and school absenteeism is between 10% and 20% in many locations, elevated from an average baseline of 2%-7%.

For the weeks ending January 14 and 21, 1983, the elevated ratio of pneumonia and influenza deaths to total deaths in 121 U.S. cities indicates excess mortality related to influenza (2,3) (Figure 2). This parallels the steady increase in the number of influenza isolates and increased levels of influenza morbidity reported in January by some states. Reported by D Peterson, MSc, D Peterson, Minnesota State Dept of Health; P Glezen, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas; H Headrick, South Dakota State Dept of Health; A Hoffman, MD, R Muldoon, PhD, Cook County General Hospital, M Beem MD, University of Chicago, J Kusek, PhD, University of Illinois--Chicago, R March, R Haroff, Illinois State Dept of Public Health; E Buff, Florida State Dept of Health and Rehabilitative Svcs; P Reichelderfer, PhD, Sunrise Hospital, Las Vegas, Nevada; Respective state epidemiologists and laboratory directors; Consolidated Surveillance Activity, Epidemiology Program Office, Influenza Br, Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

References

  1. CDC. Update: influenza in nursing homes--Michigan, Minnesota. MMWR 1983;32:17.

  2. Choi K, Thacker SB. An evaluation of influenza mortality surveillance, 1962-1979. I. Times series forecasts of expected pneumonia and influenza deaths. Am J Epidemiol 1981;113:215-26.

  3. Choi K, Thacker SB. An evaluation of influenza mortality surveillance, 1962-1979. II. Percentage of pneumonia and influenza deaths as an indicator of influenza activity. Am J Epidemiol 1981;113:227-35.

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