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Influenza Seasonal

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Flu disease picture  Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection. There are three main antigen types of influenza: types A, B, and C. Influenza type A causes moderate to severe illness and affects all age groups. Type A can infect both humans and animals. The notion that influenza type B generally causes milder disease than type A has been recently challenged and is more fatal in children. Type B mainly infects humans. Influenza type C only causes mild respiratory illness. Influenza activity peaks from December to March in the Northern Hemisphere.

Influenza is transmitted from person to person mainly when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Transmission can also occur from direct contact with respiratory secretions, such as when touching surfaces contaminated with influenza virus and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth, or from indirect contact with droplets from coughs or sneezes. Transmission can occur from the day before symptoms begin until about 5 days after symptoms begin in adults, or up to 10 days or more after symptoms begin in children.

About 50% of infected persons will develop "classic" influenza disease. This is characterized by the abrupt onset of fever, muscle pain, sore throat, nonproductive cough, runny nose, and headache. These symptoms generally last from 2 to 3 days. However, some people may experience a loss of strength or energy for several weeks. In addition, some people may develop complications, such as pneumonia.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Update: Influenza Activity — United States, October 1, 2017–February 3, 2018

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Influenza activity in the United States began to increase in early November 2017 and rose sharply from December through February 3, 2018.

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Department of Defense Global, Laboratory-based Influenza Surveillance Program’s Influenza vaccine effectiveness estimates and surveillance trends, 2016 – 2017 Influenza Season

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Each year, the Department of Defense (DoD) Global, Laboratory-based Influenza Surveillance Program performs surveillance for influenza among service members of the DoD and their dependent family members. In addition to routine surveillance, vaccine effectiveness (VE) studies are performed and results are shared with the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization for vaccine evaluation. This report documents the annual surveillance trends for the 2016 – 2017 influenza season and the end-of-season VE results. The analysis was performed by the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Epidemiology Laboratory, and the DoD Influenza Surveillance Program staff at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH. FINDINGS: A total of 5,555 specimens were tested from 84 locations: •	2,486 (44.7%) negative •	1,382 (24.9%) influenza A •	1,093 (19.7%) other respiratory pathogens •	443 (8.0%) influenza B •	151 (2.7%) co-infections The predominant influenza strain was A (H3N2), representing 73.8% of all circulating influenza. Pie chart displays this information. Graph showing the numbers and percentages of respiratory specimens positive for influenza viruses, and numbers of influenza viruses identified, by type, by surveillance week, Department of Defense healthcare beneficiaries, 2016 – 2017 influenza season displays. The vaccine effectiveness (VE) for this season was slightly lower than for the 2015 – 2016 season, which had a 63% (95% confidence interval: 53% - 71%) adjusted VE. The adjusted VE for the 2016 – 2017 season was 48% protective against all types of influenza.  Access the full report in the January 2018 MSMR (Vol. 25, No. 1). Go to: www.Health.mil/MSMR

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Update: Influenza Activity — United States, October 1–November 25, 2017

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Influenza activity remained low in the United States during October 2017, but has been increasing since November. As of November 25, influenza A(H3N2) viruses were the most commonly identified viruses.

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