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Influenza in the United States (Update)

01 Feb 2013

The increased influenza circulation that has been reported in the United States (US) is ongoing. Forty seven out of 50 states have reported widespread geographical distribution of influenza activity. The worst affected area of the US is the Northeastern Region. Officials have rated the severity of this influenza season as moderate to severe, which indicates that it is above the expected average.

The predominant strain of virus this season has been influenza A (H3N2) followed by influenza B (Yamagata and Victoria lineages).

Advice for Travellers

Travellers considered to be at increased risk from influenza according to DH Risk Groups should ensure that they have received influenza vaccine from their GP.

Other travellers may wish to receive influenza vaccine on a private basis from their GP or local Travel Clinic.

Travellers should be aware of the high level of ILI activity in the US and that transmission is through close personal contact:

  • Hand washing is the most effective way of reducing transmission.
  • Awareness of 'respiratory etiquette' can reduce transmission i.e. use tissues when sneezing/coughing and dispose of used tissues correctly.
  • Stay at home until fever subsides; avoid the workplace and crowded public places.