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Flu Season Wrap-Up: Less Illness and Death than Last Season — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 6, 2014

Flu Season Wrap-Up: Less Illness and Death than Last Season

By Cara Adler

Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS

Influenza A H1N1 viruses predominated during this past flu season for the first time since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, according to a CDC analysis of the 2013–2014 flu season published in MMWR. Influenza A H3N2 predominated in the intervening seasons.

Compared with last season, this season had lower rates of death and outpatient visits for influenza-like illness. However, hospitalization rates among patients aged 50 to 64 were higher. This season's activity peaked in late December to late January. Influenza A viruses predominated until late March, when influenza B viruses took over. All viruses were sensitive to oseltamivir and zanamivir.

Nearly all viruses analyzed were antigenically similar to the components of the 2013–2014 flu vaccine. The FDA has recommended that next season's vaccine have the same formulation.

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