The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Influenza Division produces a weekly influenza surveillance report, FluView. According to the latest edition, seasonal flu activity slightly decreased in the United States. Flu activity is expected to continue nationally for a number of weeks.
As healthcare providers, we know that the flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness and potentially serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization and death.
On a positive note, antiviral drugs can be used to treat the flu. Baloxavir marboxil (trade name Xofluza®) is a flu antiviral drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on October 24, 2018. Baloxavir joins Tamiflu®, Relenza®, and Rapivab® as antiviral medications for treating flu. Baloxavir is a pill, given as a single dose by mouth.
Antiviral drugs are not a substitute for getting a flu vaccine. We encourage you to remind your staff and patients that getting a flu vaccine is the first and best step they can take to prevent influenza.