"All influenza types and subtypes, including A (H3), A (H1N1) and B, have been identified at high levels," the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services said in an advisory to local hospitals dated Feb. 17. "There are no reported deaths associated with influenza in Long Beach to date. However, 10 deaths have been reported in Los Angeles County."
The Long Beach health department urges all local physicians to:
Continue influenza vaccinations. "It is not too late to vaccinate."
Encourage all health care workers to receive the influenza vaccination.
Consider antiviral treatment for patients at high-risk for complications from influenza.
The growing influenza trend reflects a national increase. The number of national cases remained elevated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was above the epidemic threshold, the CDC reported.
Throughout the month, the CDC has been tracking key flu indicators. Both the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza and the proportion of outpatient visits for influenzalike illness were above what is expected for this time of year. In addition, widespread influenza activity was reported in 37 states,
Regional geographic influenza activity was reported by the CDC on Feb. 12 in 10 states: California, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Washington.
Rates are highest in patients younger than 5 and in patients 65 years of age and older, according to the CDC.