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Current Trends Update: Influenza -- United States, 1988-89 Season

Most influenza viruses reported during the 1988-89 influenza season have been type B. However, the number of states reporting influenza A viruses increased substantially from December 31, 1988, to January 31, 1989. Most of the reported influenza A viruses have been subtype H1N1. As of January 27, influenza type B viruses were reported from 38 states*, influenza A(H1N1) from 22 states**, and influenza A(H3N2) from seven states*** this season. Each of these influenza viruses have also been reported from the District of Columbia. Outbreaks of influenza-like illness have occurred in schools, universities, nursing homes, and other group-living facilities. Culture-confirmed outbreaks have been associated with influenza B viruses and both subtypes of influenza A viruses. Reported by: Participating state and territorial epidemiologists and laboratory directors. Influenza Br and Epidemiology Office, Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

Editorial Note

Editorial Note: Virus cultures should be obtained during outbreaks of influenza-like illness to assess the appropriateness of amantadine therapy. Use of amantadine, an antiviral drug effective against only influenza A viruses, may be considered for prophylaxis or treatment of influenza until results of culturing are known (1).

An increased risk for Reye syndrome in children and teenagers when aspirin is used to treat influenza symptoms has been reported in years when type B influenza has predominated (2,3). Parents, teenagers and children who self-medicate, and health-care workers should be aware of this possible serious complication associated with aspirin use.


  1. ACIP. Prevention and control of influenza. MMWR 1988;37:361-4,369-73. 2.Hurwitz ES, Barrett MJ, Bregman D, et al. Public Health Service study of Reye's syndrome and medications: report of the main study. JAMA 1987;257:1905-11. 3.CDC. Reye syndrome surveillance--United States, 1986. MMWR 1987;36:689-91. *Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin. **Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin. ***Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, New York, Pennsylvania.

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