flu

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Flu Down Under- 2012

By | August 24th, 2012|Preparedness|

The Southern Hemisphere has its flu season during our Summer- so every year around now we watch influenza activity “down under” to get an idea of what we might expect for our upcoming flu season.   Here’s the scoop right now.  Flu south of the equator has already peaked and continues to decline.  There’s been a [...]

H7N3

By | June 29th, 2012|Preparedness, Prevention|

Remember the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic?  That brand new virus that caused the pandemic was a combination of RNA from four different flu viruses – North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza, and swine influenza virus typically found in Asia and Europe.  The natural laboratories for new influenza viruses that end up causing pandemics [...]

AZ Child Dies from Flu

By | May 18th, 2012|General|

Most people think that when the weather warms up, we can stop worrying about the flu.  But it’s still here.  Recently, a young Gila County child died from influenza.  It's the only pediatric death from flu in Arizona this year, last year 5 children under 18 died.  Adult flu deaths are not tracked by the [...]

Influenza Wave Coming Ashore

By | March 9th, 2012|Preparedness, Prevention|

It took longer than usual- but Influenza is finally circulating in AZ- and we’ve moved to the “Regional” flu category now (Regional is sort of the middle of the scale).  The circulating strains in AZ (confirmed by our lab) are covered by this year’s vaccine- mostly our old friend the 2009 H1N1 virus and the familiar H3N2 [...]

Our Unwelcome Winter Visitor Returns

By | December 16th, 2011|Preparedness, Prevention|

Just in time for the holidays, we’re got our first lab confirmed case of influenza – actually two cases.  Influenza has probably been in the state for a while now, but we don’t officially start counting the cases until there is a case confirmed at our lab.  The vaccine was approved this summer and fights 3 [...]

RSV Ramping Up in AZ

By | November 28th, 2011|General|

Respiratory syncytial virus (or RSV) is a respiratory virus that mainly affects little kids- and circulates around this time of year. There’s no vaccine- but clinicians can give a preventive antibody treatment to folks at greatest risk (e.g. premature infants).   It spreads mostly in the winter (like influenza) but flu and RSV don’t usually peak at [...]

AZ Data to Drive Public Health Interventions

By | October 24th, 2011|Behavioral Health, Prevention|

Making good decisions about prioritizing which public health issues to tackle and how to target our interventions rests on our ability to collect and analyze public health data.  For infectious disease surveillance that means have a base of solid reporting and surveillance so we can analyze infectious disease trends.  For chronic diseases, we need to [...]

Run with the Herd

By | September 30th, 2011|General, Prevention|

Pretty much everybody knows that getting an annual influenza vaccine protects them from getting influenza- but fewer people realize that getting vaccinated saves other people’s lives as well.  That’s because if a large percentage of the population takes advantage of the vaccine (called herd immunity) we can reduce the overall spread of the disease- and save [...]

Flu Down Under

By | August 4th, 2011|General|

This is the time of year that public health folks start watching the flu reports from the southern hemisphere.  We’re watching for a couple of things – the circulating strains and how it’s spreading.  The Australian Government Department of Health is reporting 6 times as many cases as they had at this time last season.  [...]

FDA Approves Vaccines for the 2011-2012 Influenza Season

By | July 25th, 2011|General, Prevention|

The FDA approved the 2011-2012 influenza vaccine this week. The strains in this year’s vaccine were recommended by the CDC and the World Healthy Organization after studying virus samples collected from around the world to find the influenza viruses that are the most likely to cause illness during the upcoming flu season.  The strains selected [...]