Flu Scan for Dec 07, 2018

Steady US flu activity
Pandemic preparedness bill

CDC: Flulike illness rates in US hold at national baseline

The percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illnesses (ILI) is 2.2%, the same as the national baseline, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) FluView report for the week ending Dec 1.

Four of the 10 US regions reported ILI at or above their baseline levels, with two states (Georgia and Louisiana) reporting high ILI activity. In a drop from last week, only two states (Colorado and South Carolina) experienced moderate ILI activity, while New York City and eight states (Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia) experienced low ILI activity.

Both influenza A and B are circulating, with the former predominating. Influenza A was found in 91.5% of public health lab samples, compared with 8.5% of samples showing influenza B. Of the influenza A virus samples subtyped, 82.2% are 2009 H1N1.

No pediatric deaths attributed to flu were reported to CDC this week, which means the 2018-19 season total remains at five.
Dec 7 CDC FluView


Groups press for pandemic, all-hazards preparedness law reauthorization

In a letter this week signed by 29 organizations representing public health, healthcare, biotechnology, and research, the groups urged lawmakers to pass the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation (PAHPAI) Act of 2018 before Congress adjourns for the year, Homeland Preparedness News reported yesterday.

The bipartisan reauthorization bill passed in the US house on Sep 25 and is in a Senate committee for reconciliation with that chamber's version of the bill. The deadline to reauthorize the law was Sep 30.

In the letter, the groups said that delaying reauthorization until 2019 would be a setback for the nation's security and added they are especially concerned about authorities that have already expired, including the power to reassign state and local staff and the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters. Other authorities expire this month, including some that are critical for contracting activities by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Dec 6 Homeland Preparedness News report

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