For Clinicians

Flu surveillance in California typically starts in September and goes through May of the following year with the most active months typically beginning in December and ending in April.

Influenza Vaccine Composition for 2017-2018

2017-18 trivalent vaccines:

  1. an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  2. an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
  3. a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

2017-18 quadrivalent vaccines:

  1. the same three HA antigens as trivalent vaccines, plus
  2. a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (Yamagata lineage)

Those at highest risk for severe outcomes from influenza continue to be:

  • children under 2 years of age and
  • adults 65 years of age and older, and
  • those persons who have conditions that make them more susceptible to severe illness, including
    • immune suppression
    • pregnancy or recent delivery
    • chronic respiratory disease
    • metabolic disorders
    • obesity
    • cardiopulmonary disease

Prevention

Vaccinate! Encourage patients to get their flu vaccine. Refer to Vaccine Information for additional information on vaccine composition, dosing, storing, and administration or the comprehensive Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidelines, Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines for the 17-18 season.

Flu Vaccine from ACPHD: Each year, we distribute flu vaccine to providers who agree to certain guidelines about to whom they will administer the vaccine and how and when to report usage. Visit our Flu Vaccine Distribution Program page for more information.

Treatment

Early antiviral treatment is recommended for any person who has severe illness, is at high risk for severe illness or complication, or is hospitalized for influenza. It is ideal to start treatment with oseltamivir or zanimivir within 48 hours of onset, but may still be of benefit up to 4 to 5 days after onset. If you suspect influenza in a patient, don’t wait for lab results to begin treatment.

For more information refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Influenza Antiviral Medications: Summary for Clinicians.

Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Pregnant and postpartum women are at high risk for serious complications from influenza virus. Health care providers should encourage all women who might be pregnant, who are pregnant and who are postpartum to get vaccinated.  Influenza vaccination can be administered at any time during pregnancy, before and during the influenza season.  Influenza vaccination can also help protect against premature labor and delivery. Antivirals are recommended for treating influenza in pregnant women. For additional information refer to these Pregnant Women and Influenza resources from CDC.

Influenza Vaccine Dosage

Children aged 6 months through 8 years who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time, and some in this age group who have previously been vaccinated, require two doses of vaccine administered ≥4 weeks apart. Refer to Vaccine Information for additional information on vaccine composition, dosing, storing, and administration or the comprehensive Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidelines, Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines for the 17-18 season. For more information and an algorithm for dosing in this age group please refer to the 2017-18 ACIP guidelines.

Influenza Vaccination of Persons with a History of Egg Allergy

Persons with a history of egg allergy who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg should receive influenza vaccine. The 2017-18 ACIP Guidelines recommend watching these and non-allergic persons for 15 minutes following vaccination to decrease the risk of injury due to syncope. Persons with severe egg allergy should be vaccinated under the supervision of a medical provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.

Laboratory Specimens

When submitting individual specimens for influenza testing to the Alameda county public health lab, please use this form:

Infection Control

Clinics: Please provide masks and hand sanitizer for patients with suspected influenza and ask them to mask before sitting in waiting rooms.
Inpatient: Standard and droplet precautions should be implemented for patients with suspected or confirmed influenza, including placement in a private room and placing a surgical mask on patients if they must be transported to other areas of the facility.

Mandatory Influenza Vaccination or Masking of Health Care Workers During Influenza Season

The Health Officers from Alameda County and the City of Berkeley approved a health order in August of 2013 that is recently updated.  The 2017 update defines Influenza Season as November 1 to April 30 of the following year. It mandates that all licensed health care facilities in Alameda County and City of Berkeley require their health care workers (HCWs) to receive an annual influenza vaccination or, if they decline, to wear a mask during the influenza season while working in patient care areas.

In 2011, prior to Alameda County and City of Berkeley having a joint vaccine or masking order, the median health care facility vaccination coverage rate was 74% and no facility in our greater community had a 90% vaccination coverage rate for their health care workers.  In the 2012-2013 season, the median health care worker vaccination coverage rate jumped to 89% (mean 87%), with 4 out of 12 facilities reaching coverage rates of over 90%. However, between the 12-13 and 13-14 flu seasons, the median HCW vaccination rate dropped to 87% (mean 86%). This demonstrates that there is still work to be done to ensure full protection for our health care personnel.

Additionally, beginning in the Fall of 2017, the Mandatory Vaccination or Masking Ordinance will be expanded to include residential care facilities.

Additional Information

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