Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Seasonal Influenza A & Antiviral Tx for Patients

CDC Health Advisory; 2017 Dec 27; CDC

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. Accessed December 30, 2017.

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Comparing Influenza Activity Estimates in the US, BMC Infect Dis; ePub 2018 Aug 15; Baltrusaitis, et al

Acute Respiratory Illness in Pregnant Women, J Infect Dis; ePub 2018 May 5; Hause, et al

Influenza Infection in Transplant Patients, Clin Infect Dis; ePub 2018 Apr 7; Kumar, et al

Influenza-Associated Parotitis in the US, Clin Infect Dis; ePub 2018 Mar 30; Rolfes, et al

Mortality Estimates Among SARI Patients, BMC Infect Dis; ePub 2018 Feb 12; Barnes, et al