First flu hospitalization of the season as of 10/1/14
Washtenaw County Public Health received a report of a Washtenaw adult hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza B (via PCR testing). The individual is an older adult with underlying high risk health conditions who had not been vaccinated against flu. An additional case of influenza B, also in an Ypsilanti-area adult, was reported two weeks ago.
It is important for clinicians to order confirmatory lab testing on suspected influenza cases, especially when we are early in the season. Rapid flu tests are not reliable when low levels of influenza are circulating. Influenza PCR and culture isolates are an essential part of ongoing public health surveillance throughout the season.
Providers should vaccinate throughout the influenza season (see below for a summary of vaccine coverage for last flu season). Provider recommendation for vaccination is critical. Public Health has flu vaccine available for everyone 6 months and older; call 734-544-6700 to schedule an appointment.
Please see the Washtenaw County Public Health web site for ongoing local flu surveillance information:
Influenza vaccination coverage in Washtenaw County during 2013-14 season
Washtenaw County children had the top rate of flu vaccine coverage in Michigan last year (per MCIR). Among Washtenaw children ages 6 months through 4 years, 70% received at least one dose of flu vaccine; the state average was 49.6%. In the 5 to 12 year-old age group, 50.1% in Washtenaw were vaccinated compared to 31.6% statewide. Rates in adults are lower but this is partly due to lack of consistent entry of adult vaccines into the MCIR.
Public Health wants to thank all of our providers for helping to protect our community against flu. Flu vaccine rates in Washtenaw kids are particularly impressive and reflect the efforts of staff across the health care system. We are getting closer to our community goal of 90% coverage for everyone 6 months and older.
2013-14 Flu-associated hospitalizations and deaths in Washtenaw residents
2013-14 was a moderately severe flu season which was dominated by influenza A/H1N1; B viruses were circulating as well. An intense wave of A/H1N1 hit the community in late December and January causing numerous hospitalizations. The hospitalizations were fairly evenly distributed among younger (18 – 49 yrs), middle-aged (50 – 64 yrs) and older adults (65+ yrs). Few hospitalizations (5% of total) were seen in children 17 years and younger. Almost all hospitalized individuals had an underlying high-risk condition. Residents of the Ypsilanti area and African-American adults had higher rates of hospitalization than expected.
The low hospitalization rate in Washtenaw children last season is notable. The flu-related hospitalization rate among Washtenaw 0 – 4 year olds was 10.4/100,000 compared to a national rate of 46.7/100,000 (CDC). During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, 27% of local hospitalizations were in children 17 years and younger, compared to 5% in 2013-14.
Some key findings of Washtenaw flu-related hospitalizations in 2013-14:
· Total hospitalizations = 116
· ICU Admissions = 20%
· Adult flu-related deaths = 4
· Child flu-related deaths = 0
· Underlying high-risk condition = 94%
Please see the full summary of hospitalizations for more details: http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/disease_control/2013-14-flu-hospitalization-summary