Tag - Public Health

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Ebola Outbreak May 2018

As you are no doubt aware from the media, there is an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  There are no cases in the United States or in any country aside from the DRC. The World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee met May 18th and decided that the outbreak should not be considered an International Health Event, at least at this time, but is of concern and will be closely monitored by WHO, CDC & other [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 5-19-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #20 Week Ending 5-19-18 FLU and ILI news continued to improve and, although there were still Flu and ILI cases, as well as hospitalizations and deaths from influenza, based on the numbers, it is the waning weeks of the 2017-18 Flu Season. So, unless something unexpected happens, this will be the last FirstWatch Flu Summary for Flu Season 2017-18.  The CDC will continue to publish their Weekly Flu Reports and Summaries; they can be accessed through [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 5-12-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #19 Week Ending 5-12-18 FLU and ILI news continued to get better although there were still two indicators that have not normalized, specifically, hospitalizations and pediatric deaths.  For the sixth consecutive week, influenza activity (ILI) was below the national baseline. The number of flu and ILI cases both decreased again. A quick glance at the graphs for Percentages of Visits for ILI and Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality Surveillance, gives a pictorial presentation of the severity of [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 5-5-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #18 Week Ending 5-5-18 Continued good news about Flu but two indicators still have not abated.  Specifically, the rate of hospitalizations from flu continued to increase and there are were still a couple of pediatric deaths reported this week but they were during previous weeks.  For the fifth time in-a-row since this Flu season became active, influenza activity (ILI) was below the national baseline but remained the same as last week. The number of flu [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 4-28-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #17 Week Ending 4-28-18 Continued good news about Flu but two indicators still haven’t shown any sign of abating.  Specifically, the rate of hospitalizations from flu continues to increase and there are still a number of pediatric deaths for the week.  But, for the fourth time in-a-row since this Flu season became active, influenza activity (ILI) was below the national baseline and the number of flu cases once again decreased. A quick glance at the graphs [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 4-21-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #16 Week Ending 4-21-18 Continued good news about Flu but there are still a couple of indicators that have yet to fall, namely, the rate of hospitalizations from flu, as well as the number of pediatric deaths.  However, for the third time in-a-row since the third week in November, influenza activity (ILI) was below the national baseline and the number of flu cases once again decreased. This chart, copied from the CDC Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 4-14-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #15 Week Ending 4-14-18 Good news about Flu!!  For the second time in-a-row since the third week in November, influenza activity was below the national baseline and the number of flu cases once again decreased. There are still a couple of indicators that have yet to fall; namely, the rate of hospitalizations as a cumulative number and for specific age ranges, as well as the number of pediatric deaths.  Hopefully, these numbers will begin to [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 3-31-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #13 Week Ending 3-31-18 Although Flu and ILI was still elevated above the national baseline, they each continued to decrease last week.  Week #13 was the seventh week with decreases in FLU/ILI indicators.  The peak of the season occurred during Week #5, ending 2/3/18. For the first time since Flu season ramped up, the adult death rates from pneumonia and flu fell below the epidemic threshold. On average for the past five Flu seasons, ILI remained [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 3-24-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #12 Week Ending 3-24-18 Although Flu and ILI remained elevated above the national baseline respectively, they each continued to decrease last week.  Week #12 was the sixth week with decreases in FLU/ILI indicators.  The peak of the season occurred when ILI was at a high of 7.5%, which occurred during Week #5, ending 2/3/18. On average for the past five Flu seasons, ILI remained at/above the national baseline for 16 weeks; 20 weeks was the longest.  [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 3-17-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #11 Week Ending 3-17-18 Although Flu and ILI is still fairly widespread and above the national baseline, respectively, Week #11 was the fifth week with significant decreases in most flu indicators.  The peak of the season was when ILI was at a high of 7.5%, which occurred during Week #5, ending 2/3/18.  On average for the past five Flu seasons, ILI has remained at/above the national baseline for 16 weeks; 20 weeks is the longest.  [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 3-10-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #10 Week Ending 3-10-18 Although Flu and ILI is still fairly widespread and above the national baseline, respectively, Week #10 was the fourth week with significant decreases in most flu indicators.  The peak of the season was when ILI was at a high of 7.5%, which occurred during Week #5, ending 2/3/18.  On average for the past five Flu seasons, ILI has remained at/above the national baseline for 16 weeks; 20 weeks is the longest.  [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 3-3-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #9 Week Ending 3-3-18 Although Flu and ILI are still fairly widespread and above the national baseline, respectively, Week #9 was the third week with significant decreases in most flu indicators. The peak of the season was when ILI was at a high of 7.5%, which occurred during Week #5, ending 2/3/18. The one indicator that showed increases in all the reported ages was in hospitalizations for Flu and Pneumonia. This indicator [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 2-17-2018

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #7 Week Ending 2-17-18 The CDC reported that although there were multiple indicators suggesting that the flu season has hopefully peaked, flu activity is still widespread throughout the United States and, ILI, although lower, remains higher than the peaks of ILI activity in previous flu seasons. Diagnosed flu cases have also decreased slightly. Hospitalizations for this flu season are still outpacing those of the 2014-15 flu season which was considered highly severe [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 2-03-2018

Week ending 2-3-18 The CDC reported that influenza activity (diagnosed flu and Influenza-Like-Illness) increased once again.  Levels have met or exceeded flu and ILI markers from flu seasons over the last decade, including the 2009 Pandemic of H1N1.  Although Week #5 is the 11th week of substantial flu activity, and flu activity would normally have peaked by now, that is not the case and the CDC suggests that flu activity may go on for as long as 20 weeks. The [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 1-27-2018

Week ending 1-27-18 The CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu and Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), increased again;  there was no indication that flu/ILI was waning.  All but two states, Hawaii and Oregon reported widespread flu activity.  There was an increase in the number of states that reported high ILI levels again, nearing the levels seen during the 2009 Pandemic.  The rate of hospitalizations for this flu season is greater than that seen during the most recent severe flu season [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 1-20-2018

Week ending 1-20-18 TThe CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu and Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), increased again. All states reported widespread flu activity except for Hawaii, and ILI levels also increased. This indicates that this flu season is a severe one – at, or just below — the data seen in the most recent highly severe flu season of 2014-15. Deaths associated with flu have reached system-specific epidemic thresholds. The dominating flu subtype remained A H3N2, which is typically [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 1-13-2018

Week #56 (ending 1-13-18) The CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu and Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), increased again. All states reported widespread flu activity except for Hawaii and ILI also increased. This indicated that this flu season is a severe one – at, or just below — the data seen in the most recent severe flu season of 2014-15. Deaths associated with flu have reached system-specific epidemic thresholds. The dominating flu subtype continued to be A H3N2, typically a [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 1-6-2018

Week #55 (ending 1-6-18) The CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu as well as Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), increased again and all states reported widespread activity except for Hawaii. The flu and ILI data reported so far matches up with data points from the 2014-15 season which had high severity. The CDC also suggested that it is likely that the peak of the flu season has or soon will occur but flu will probably continue for several more weeks. The [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 12-30-2017

Week #52 (ending 12-30-17) the CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu as well as Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) sharply increased for this week. The dominating flu subtype continued to be A H3N2. This continued the trend of an early flu season with a typically more severe subtype of flu dominating and the possibility of increased complications. Although the highest risk for complications & hospitalizations is usually in those 65 years or older and in younger children, there have [...]

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