While most Americans may not consider the 2019–2020 flu season even underway yet, federal health officials are warning that the first death of the season—a 4-year-old California child—could be a warning sign of just how bad it’s going to get. The child, who did have underlying health problems, tested positive for influenza earlier this month. That case may indicate this flu season will be picking up steam fast—a notion supported by the just-concluded Australian flu season, which is often a reliable predictor of flu activity in the U.S. All the more reason to start beating the drum for flu shots in your urgent care center. If patients are reluctant, remind them that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the flu vaccine for most patients over the age of 6 months, including pregnant women. For your own edification, you may want to read a pair of articles JUCM published not long ago: An Urgent Care Approach to Influenza—Before Onset offers information to help you prepare your patients and your practice for flu season, while Treating Patients Infected with Influenza Virus in the Urgent Care Setting lays out the optimal approaches to testing and caring for patients who do get the flu.

 

With One Child Dead Already, U.S. Says the 2019–2020 Flu Season Will Be Brutal; Be Prepared
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