Friday, February 16, 2018

HHS/CDC Press Conference On Active Flu Season


Late yesterday afternoon the HHS announced a live video press conference would be held at 4:30pm EDT on this year's ongoing severe flu season which would feature HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and a number of other public health officials.
Since the notice went out so late (I received mine at a quarter to 3), I imagine very few people had time to adjust their schedule to watch. Luckily, a video is already up on the HHS YouTube Channel. 
While not providing any specifics on what we might expect from today's weekly FluView report, officials - after discussing yesterday's MMWR report (see Interim Estimates of 2017–18 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness (VE))the panel continued to urge anyone who hasn't yet been vaccinated to get the shot.
The video conference lasts just under 20 minutes, and also stressed the need to maintain good flu hygiene, and to seek medical advice early for cases of severe flu, or flu in high risk individuals. 
We won't know until later today whether this year's flu season has peaked, or is still on the ascendant, but either way there are almost certainly several more weeks of heavy flu activity ahead.  Additionally, as H3N2 wanes, we may see a surge in Influenza B or H1N1 (or both).
So far there is no notice posted on the CDC Media site of a CDC presser today, but those are often announced the morning of, and so we may still get one later today. 
Either way, all eyes will be on today's FluView report, which I hope to have up before noon (EDT).

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