Community News

Influenza Activity Still High in Orange County

by: OC Health Care Agency
Posted: January 15, 2018

ORANGE COUNTY...The Orange County Health Care Agency continues to receive large numbers of reports of influenza, including severe cases (less than 65 years of age who were hospitalized in intensive care or who died), and outbreaks. Circulating viruses are mainly influenza A H3N2 which has been associated with increased hospitalizations and lower vaccine effectiveness in past seasons. CDC recommends:

  • 1. Get vaccinated: It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Even in years with lower vaccine effectiveness (e.g., 48% in 2015-16), influenza vaccine prevented an estimated 5 million illnesses, 2.5 million medical visits, and 71,000 hospitalizations due to flu. For more info on where to get vaccinated, see

  • 2.  Stop germs: Use everyday preventive actions to avoid getting sick with flu and/or passing it to others. People with flu symptoms should stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine. Covering your cough, handwashing and routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces can help decrease the spread of illness. For more information, see . Guidance for schools and child cares is available here:

  • 3.  Antiviral drugs: Antiviral drugs can shorten illness with influenza, make it milder, and prevent complications. People with influenza symptoms who are in the hospital, have severe progressive illness, or who are at increased risk for complications of influenza due to age or underlying medical conditions may benefit from antiviral drugs. Antivirals should be started as soon as possible in these groups and should NOT be delayed waiting for test results. Per the California Department of Public Health, there is currently NO state or national shortage of antivirals. Pharmacies can contact their wholesalers directly to obtain medications if needed.

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