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CDC Health Advisory: Increasing Seasonal Influenza A (H3N2) Activity, Especially Among Young Adults and in College and University Settings During SARS-CoV-2 Circulation

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory about increased influenza A (H3N2) activity that could mark the beginning of the 2021-2022 influenza season. The purpose of this HAN Health Advisory is to

  1. Remind public health practitioners and clinicians to recommend and offer the current seasonal influenza vaccine to all eligible persons aged six months and older (Flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine can be given at the same visit).
  2. Remind clinicians to consider testing for both influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 in patients with influenza-like illness (ILI).
  3. Advise clinicians that antiviral treatment is recommended as early as possible for any patient with confirmed or suspected influenza who is: a) hospitalized; b) at higher risk for influenza complications; or c) developing progressive illness. In patients with suspected influenza, decisions about starting antiviral treatment should not wait for laboratory confirmation of influenza, however COVID-19 should be excluded if a rapid assay is available.
  4. Remind public health practitioners and clinicians to consider mitigation measures including antiviral post-exposure prophylaxis during influenza outbreaks in institutions (e.g., long-term care facilities, university dormitories) in the setting of co-circulation of SARS-CoV-2.
  5. Remind the public to use non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) or everyday preventive actions, in addition to getting a flu vaccine. Everyday preventive actions include staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands often.

The full Health Advisory is available in PDF and web formats.