The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that all hospitalized patients and all outpatients at high risk for serious complications be treated as soon as possible with one of three available influenza antiviral medications if influenza is suspected, regardless of a patient’s vaccination status and without waiting for confirmatory testing. Further, health care providers should advise patients at high risk to call promptly if they get symptoms of influenza.
To improve the appropriate use of antivirals during this influenza season, CDC released Medical Office Telephone Evaluation of Patients with Possible Influenza. This new tool was developed for medical office staff as they conduct telephone triage for patients who call with flu-like symptoms to help them identify when it might be appropriate to initiate antiviral treatment before an office visit.
For More Information
- CDC Influenza (Flu) web page for the latest information on flu, including the CDC 2014-2015 recommendations for the prevention and control of influenza, antiviral information, CDC flu mobile app, Q&As, toolkit for long term care employers, and other free resources
- CDC Antiviral Drugs website for information about how antiviral medications can be used to prevent or treat influenza when influenza activity is present in your community, and view the updated Influenza Antiviral Medications: Summary for Clinicians
- A CDC Health Update, reminding clinicians about the importance of flu antiviral medications, was distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network on January 9, 2015
- MLN Matters® Article #MM8890, “Influenza Vaccine Payment Allowances – Annual Update for 2014-2015 Season.”
- MLN Matters Article #SE1431, “2014-2015 Influenza (Flu) Resources for Health Care Professionals.”