The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a notice regarding increased influenza A(H3N2) activity and its clinical implications, a summary of influenza antiviral drug treatment recommendations, an update about approved treatment drugs and supply for the 2017-2018 season, and background information for patients about influenza treatment. Recommendations include:
- CDC recommends antiviral medications for the treatment of influenza as an important adjunct to annual influenza vaccination.
- All hospitalized, severely ill, and high-risk patients with suspected confirmed influenza should be treated with antivirals.
- Antiviral treatment should be started as soon as possible after illness onset and should not be delayed even for a few hours to wait for the results of testing.
- The most accurate influenza tests are molecular assays.
- Neuraminidase inhibitors can benefit other individuals with influenza. 3 prescription neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral medications are recommended for use the US during the 2017-2018 season: iseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), and peramivir (Rapivab).
- Additional considerations for clinicians include bacterial infections and adverse events with antiviral use.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seasonal influenza A(H3N2) activity and antiviral treatment of patients with influenza. December 27, 2017. https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00409.asp. Accessed December 30, 2017.
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