Pertussis activity and influenza update
March 16, 2012
The Iowa Department of Public Health says pertussis activity (whooping cough) is continuing, particularly in eastern Iowa. Pertussis testing is available through the State Hygienic Laboratory. Physicians are urged to continue to vaccinate patients to prevent and control pertussis illness in our state. For more information about pertussis, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/IDPHChannelsService/.
In addition, IDPH says influenza activity is being upgraded from regional activity to widespread. The State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) has identified three seasonal influenza viruses that are currently circulating in Iowa - influenza A (H3), influenza A (2009 H1N1) and influenza B. All three strains are well matched with this year's influenza vaccine. Iowans who have not yet gotten their seasonal influenza shot should be advised to do so. For more information on influenza surveillance, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/IdphArchive/Archive.aspx?channel=FluReports.
SHL encourages labs to continue to submit their rapid test positive influenza specimens from outpatients for confirmation. Labs are also encouraged to submit specimens from patients that are hospitalized with influenza-like Illness, regardless of the rapid test result. For questions on specimen submission and testing, call (319) 335-4500 or visit www.shl.uiowa.edu/services/influenza.