Antibiotic Stewardship Again

Angie Szumlinski News

Bacterial co-infections and secondary infections are commonly identified in severe influenza (23%) and other severe respiratory viral infections, in which they are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. National and International COVID-19 guidelines vary in their recommendations on empirical antimicrobial therapy, some recommend empirical antimicrobial therapy in severe diseases where others do not. In a study published in the Lancet, …

No Flu Season

Angie Szumlinski News

Experts predicted that the 2019/20 flu season in the Northern Hemisphere would be a bad one. And then it wasn’t. The COVID-19 pandemic hit, international travel ground to a halt, physical distancing and mask wearing became more common, and the flu went away. Part of the sudden decrease might be the result of health authorities in some areas focusing all …

Differentiate SARS-CoV-2, FLU A, FLU B and RSV

Angie Szumlinski Featured

Abbott Laboratories announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the company’s Alinity™ m Resp-4-Plex molecular assay to detect and differentiate SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B and Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV) in one test. This is an important tool because these viruses have similar symptoms but require different treatment approaches. This test …

Flu Season Where Are You?

Angie Szumlinski Health

This winter has, so far, been the quietest flu season in recent memory and the perks are clear. Fewer flu cases mean fewer deaths, fewer occupied hospital beds, and fewer overtaxed health-care workers, caregivers, and laboratory employees, a welcome respite for a country still in the coronavirus’ grip. Without flu cases to study, researchers have been starved of data crucial …

Influenza Cases Down!

Angie Szumlinski Studies

Flu activity is unusually low at this time but may increase in the coming month per the CDC’s FluView. Throughout the fall, public health officials urged Americans to get a flu vaccine to avoid a “twindemic” that could occur if both the flu and COVID-19 overwhelmed hospitals. Pharmacies and health care organizations ordered more flu vaccines this year to prepare …

Nurse making vaccine injection to elderly patient

Adjuvanted Influenza Vaccine

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

Influenza outbreaks in nursing homes pose a threat to frail residents and occur even in vaccinated populations. A pragmatic cluster-randomized trial was performed comparing adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV) versus trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV). Of 823 randomized nursing homes, 777 reported information on influenza outbreaks. The treatment group had similar characteristics at baseline except for race/ethnicity; homes assigned to TIV …

Influenza vaccine, syringe, and vials.

Preparing for the 2020-2021 Influenza Season

Angie Szumlinski News

As health care systems across the U.S. are experiencing or preparing for surges in individuals with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) this fall and winter, the potential for cocirculation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza viruses poses added challenges for clinicians and public health. Recent reports suggest that influenza activity can be influenced substantially by non-pharmaceutical measures …

CDC Diagnostic Multiplex Assay for Flu and COVID-19

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Health

The CDC has developed two laboratory tests that identify SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The newer of these tests also test for influenza A and B viruses. Testing for all three viruses at the same time will provide public health officials with the information they need to help reduce the spread of these viruses in the community while conserving …

Flu Season Caution Signs

Positive for Both – COVID and Flu!

Angie Szumlinski Health

Following national public health warnings about a possible “twindemic,” reports are surfacing of patients testing positive for both coronavirus and influenza. “With the likelihood of both COVID-19 and seasonal flu activity this winter, contracting either disease may weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to the other diseases,” said Solano County Health Officer Dr. Bela T. Matyas. “Getting …

Process Failures – Increased Risk of Infection

Angie Szumlinski Studies

In the United States, an estimated 21 million patients seek medical treatment for respiratory infections each year. Severe respiratory infections such as croup, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia are caused by bacterial and viral agents spread through respiratory droplets. Most viral pneumonias in the United States are caused by influenza and hospital associated infectious agents through respiratory droplets. In order to determine …