Volume 2. Issue 1 – January 22, 2020
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can range from mild to severe with serious outcomes resulting in possible hospital stays or death. Pediatrics, geriatrics, and people with compromised immune systems or certain health conditions (*diabetics, HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, asthmatics, cancer) are at high risk for serious flu complications. There are two main types of influenza: Type A and B. They are routinely spread from person to person by coughing, sneezing, or talking.
*This list is not all inclusive.
Some common signs and symptoms of the Flu can include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
Diagnosis can be confirmed by “rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs). They detect the part of the virus that stimulates an immune response. Other tests include the “rapid molecular assays” and several more accurate and sensitive tests available that are performed in specialized laboratories. The test involves a healthcare provider swiping the inside of the nose or the back of the throat with a swab.
The CDC has a weekly flu activity and surveillance page that includes surveillance data nationwide and by state. Virginia has been marked as high
Please use this link to access it: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivitysurv.htm.
The VDH also has a 2019-20 flu surveillance page specific to Virginia and can be found here: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/influenza-flu-in-virginia/influenza-surveillance/
CHVC has checklists available for our different stakeholders to assist with creating a response plan for a pandemic flu response. Please feel free to download and use the plans as a guide for your particular agency.
Influenza (Flu). (2019, December 27). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.
Influenza (Flu) in Virginia. (n.d.). Retrieved December 30, 2019, from http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/influenza-flu-in-virginia/.