The CDC’s influenza report for the week ending 20 December shows US flu deaths reaching the epidemic threshold.
Read the full report here.
So far this flu season the historically potent H3N2 virus has been the most heavily detected Flu strain in North America. To make matters worse, the most prominent variant, A/Switzerland/9715293 -like, is not included in this year’s North American vaccine. The CDC still recommends vaccination, as the vaccine does protect against other strains and is likely to provide some advantage battling the Switzerland variant.
Of course, we all know proper hand washing and frequent sanitizing are the first lines of defense.
Wash up, stock up and good luck!
CDC press release:
Here is a link to a wonderful 2012 study showing a reduction in respiratory and gastrointestinal illness related absences when students participated in short hand-washing instructional sessions every two months:
To quote the study’s conclusion: “Adding hand hygiene instruction to existing hand hygiene practices improved attendance at public elementary schools during the flu season. Standardized and brief repetitive instruction in hand hygiene holds potential to significantly reduce absenteeism.”
For instruction materials, visit our links page.