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Announcement: Now Available Online: Final 2013–14 Influenza Vaccination Coverage Estimates for Selected Local Areas, States, and the United States

October 14, 2014 Comments off

Announcement: Now Available Online: Final 2013–14 Influenza Vaccination Coverage Estimates for Selected Local Areas, States, and the United States
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Final 2013–14 influenza season vaccination coverage estimates are now available online at FluVaxView (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview). The online information includes estimates of the cumulative percentage of persons vaccinated by the end of each month, from July 2013 through May 2014, for select local areas, each state, each U.S. Department of Health and Human Services region, and the United States overall.
Analyses were conducted using National Immunization Survey influenza vaccination data for children aged 6 months–17 years and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for adults aged ≥18 years. Estimates are provided by age group and race/ethnicity. These estimates are presented in an interactive report (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/interactive.htm) and complemented by an online summary report (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/coverage-1314estimates.htm).

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Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) — United States, 2014–15 Influenza Season

August 15, 2014 Comments off

Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) — United States, 2014–15 Influenza Season
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

This report updates the 2013 recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding use of seasonal influenza vaccines (1). Updated information for the 2014–15 influenza season includes 1) antigenic composition of U.S. seasonal influenza vaccines; 2) vaccine dose considerations for children aged 6 months through 8 years; and 3) a preference for the use, when immediately available, of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) for healthy children aged 2 through 8 years, to be implemented as feasible for the 2014–15 season but not later than the 2015–16 season. Information regarding issues related to influenza vaccination not addressed in this report is available in the 2013 ACIP seasonal influenza recommendations (1).

Influenza Activity — United States, 2013–14 Season and Composition of the 2014–15 Influenza Vaccines

June 9, 2014 Comments off

Influenza Activity — United States, 2013–14 Season and Composition of the 2014–15 Influenza Vaccines
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

During the 2013–14 influenza season in the United States, influenza activity increased through November and December before peaking in late December. Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 (pH1N1) viruses predominated overall, but influenza B viruses and, to a lesser extent, influenza A (H3N2) viruses also were reported in the United States. This influenza season was the first since the 2009 pH1N1 pandemic in which pH1N1 viruses predominated and was characterized overall by lower levels of outpatient illness and mortality than influenza A (H3N2)–predominant seasons, but higher rates of hospitalization among adults aged 50–64 years compared with recent years. This report summarizes influenza activity in the United States for the 2013–14 influenza season (September 29, 2013–May 17, 2014) and reports recommendations for the components of the 2014–15 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccines.

Effectiveness of influenza vaccine against life-threatening RT-PCR-confirmed influenza illness in US children, 2010-2012

April 4, 2014 Comments off

Effectiveness of influenza vaccine against life-threatening RT-PCR-confirmed influenza illness in US children, 2010-2012
Source: Journal of Infectious Diseases

Background. 
No studies have examined the effectiveness of influenza vaccine against ICU admission associated with influenza virus infection among children.

Methods. 
In 2010-11 and 2011-12, children aged 6 months to 17 years admitted to 21 US pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) with acute severe respiratory illness and testing positive for influenza were enrolled as cases; children who tested negative were PICU controls. Community controls were children without an influenza-related hospitalization, matched to cases by comorbidities and geographic region. Vaccine effectiveness was estimated with logistic regression models.

Results. 
We analyzed data from 44 cases, 172 PICU controls, and 93 community controls. Eighteen percent of cases, 31% of PICU controls, and 51% of community controls were fully vaccinated. Compared to unvaccinated children, children who were fully vaccinated were 74% (95% CI, 19 to 91%) or 82% (95% CI, 23 to 96%) less likely to be admitted to a PICU for influenza compared to PICU controls or community controls, respectively. Receipt of one dose of vaccine among children for whom two doses were recommended was not protective.

Conclusion. 
During the 2010-11 and 2011-12 US influenza seasons, influenza vaccination was associated with a three-quarters reduction in the risk of life-threatening influenza illness in children.

Issue Brief: As Flu Season Ramps Up, Adults 18-64 Years Old Least Likely to Get Flu Shots

January 17, 2014 Comments off

Issue Brief: As Flu Season Ramps Up, Adults 18-64 Years Old Least Likely to Get Flu Shots
Source: Trust for America’s Health

An analysis by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) found that only 35.7 percent of adults ages 18 to 64 years old got the flu shot last season (the most recent period data with available data). By comparison, 56.6 percent of children (ages 6 months to 17 years old) and 66.2 percent of seniors (ages 65 and older) were vaccinated. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all American 6 months and older get vaccinated each year.

According to the CDC, the flu season in the United States is beginning to “ramp” up and flu is now widespread in 35 states. Rates are particularly high in 13 Southern and Central/Western states (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah).

H1N1 is the most prevalent flu strain this season, which can disproportionately and adversely impact otherwise healthy children and young adults, according to the CDC.

Estimated Influenza Illnesses and Hospitalizations Averted by Influenza Vaccination — United States, 2012–13 Influenza Season

December 24, 2013 Comments off

Estimated Influenza Illnesses and Hospitalizations Averted by Influenza Vaccination — United States, 2012–13 Influenza Season
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Influenza is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality each year in the United States. From 1976 to 2007, annual deaths from influenza ranged from approximately 3,300 to 49,000 (1). Vaccination against influenza has been recommended to prevent illness and related complications, and since 2010, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that all persons aged ≥6 months be vaccinated against influenza each year (2). In 2013, CDC published a model to quantify the annual number of influenza-associated illnesses and hospitalizations averted by influenza vaccination during the 2006–11 influenza seasons (3). Using that model with 2012–13 influenza season vaccination coverage rates, influenza vaccine effectiveness, and influenza hospitalization rates, CDC estimated that vaccination resulted in 79,000 (17%) fewer hospitalizations during the 2012–13 influenza season than otherwise might have occurred. Based on estimates of the percentage of influenza illnesses that involve hospitalization or medical attention, vaccination also prevented approximately 6.6 million influenza illnesses and 3.2 million medically attended illnesses. Influenza vaccination during the 2012–13 season produced a substantial reduction in influenza-associated illness. However, fewer than half of persons aged ≥6 months were vaccinated. Higher vaccination rates would have resulted in prevention of a substantial number of additional cases and hospitalizations.

Bayesian Analysis of Epidemics – Zombies, Influenza, and other Diseases

December 4, 2013 Comments off

Bayesian Analysis of Epidemics – Zombies, Influenza, and other Diseases
Source: arXiv.org

Mathematical models of epidemic dynamics offer significant insight into predicting and controlling infectious diseases. The dynamics of a disease model generally follow a susceptible, infected, and recovered (SIR) model, with some standard modifications. In this paper, we extend the work of Munz et.al (2009) on the application of disease dynamics to the so-called “zombie apocalypse”, and then apply the identical methods to influenza dynamics. Unlike Munz et.al (2009), we include data taken from specific depictions of zombies in popular culture films and apply Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods on improved dynamical representations of the system. To demonstrate the usefulness of this approach, beyond the entertaining example, we apply the identical methodology to Google Trend data on influenza to establish infection and recovery rates. Finally, we discuss the use of the methods to explore hypothetical intervention policies regarding disease outbreaks.

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