We have report by an astute clinician of unusual levels of influenza B in Orlando, Florida, where Tamiflu is being prescribed at high rates in outpatient clinics. Employees and visitors to Disney World, Sea World, Universal and Legoland have been reportedly admitted to a local hospital. The hospital is described as "full". We are also hearing report of concern for vaccine failure as well.
Cross-check of official state public health reports for Florida indicate unusual activity for Regions 3, 5, and 7 as of June 19th (i.e. 12 days ago). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention closed out their seasonal reporting for influenza on May 25th, therefore there is no current situational awareness or guidance. According to CDC, the 2011-2012 season was associated with an overal vaccine match of 60%, which they deemed "well matched". When considered at the local level, one might debate this, as was reported in the Pacific NW.
This now raises the bar of interest for the coming 2012-2013 influenza season and whether we will see unusually early cases in the fall... and whether the strains will indeed be "well matched" to the recommended vaccine.
A cross check of social media sources reveal inconsistencies again with what is reported directly on the ground versus what social media would lead an analyst to believe:
- Google's Flu Trends indicate a LOW level of influenza activity in Florida currently.
- HealthMap provides no report of these events.
- SickWeather does provide indication that folks are talking about "flu" in Florida, however there is no indication of volume compared to baseline. There is no indication an operational "forecast" was provided.
The bottom line is nothing beats an astute clinician inclined to report...