Influenza season is almost upon us.
Influenza season typically peaks in the United States during the Jan-Feb months and can start as early as October. You can read about the 2011-12 seasonal flu data on the CDC website.
Should you give a patient with influenza an antiviral agent or just provide supportive therapy?
This Paucis Verbis card summaries the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for this upcoming 2011-12 influenza season. I also let patients with uncomplicated influenza who are going to be managed as outpatients know that a 5-day course of osteltamivir or zanamivir will cost them about $50-80. Often that sways them towards declining a prescription and "toughing out" an extra day of the flu.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infectious disease. Antiviral agents for the treatment and chemoprophylaxis of influenza. Ann Emerg Med. 2011 Sep;58(3):299-303; discussion 303-4.