KACH confirms two positive influenza diagnosis; urges all patients to get vaccinated

By Robert Lanier Keller Army Community Hospital Public Affairs Specialist

February 11th, 2016 | Community Leisure, Keller Corner

A health advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports influenza activity is increasing across the country; CDC advises clinicians to continue efforts to vaccinate patients this season for as long as influenza viruses are circulating, and promptly start antiviral treatment of severely ill and high-risk patients if influenza is suspected or confirmed.

Keller Army Community Hospital (KACH) has confirmed their first two positive influenza diagnosis of the year and anticipates more in the near future.

CDC has received recent reports of severe respiratory illness among young- to middle-aged adults with ‘Influenza A’ (H1N1pdm09) virus infection, a number of which required intensive care unit (ICU) admission; fatalities have been reported.

Some of these patients reportedly tested negative for influenza; their influenza diagnosis was made later with molecular assays.

Most of these patients were reportedly unvaccinated.

‘Influenza A’ virus infection in the past has caused severe illness in some children and young- and middle-aged adults.

Keller Army Community Hospital encourages all patients, 6 months and older, who have not yet received an influenza vaccine this season to be vaccinated against influenza.

The KACH Immunization Clinic is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, except Thursday when it closes at 2:30 p.m. for training on select days.

There are several influenza vaccine options for the 2015-16 influenza season.

Contact your primary care physician for more information.

Any people suffering from an influenza-like illness, especially those at high risk for influenza complications, should seek care promptly to determine if treatment with influenza antiviral medications is warranted.

Starting antiviral treatment within the first 72 hours is vital.

In the most recent influenza season—the 2014-15 season—CDC estimates there were approximately 19 million influenza-associated medical visits and 970,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations.

The spectrum of illness observed thus far during the 2015-16 season has ranged from mild to severe and is consistent with that of other influenza seasons.

Although influenza activity nationally is low compared to this time last season, it is increasing, and some localized areas of the United States are already experiencing high activity.