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March 17, 1993

Looking Ahead to Next Influenza Season

JAMA. 1993;269(11):1353. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500110013003

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SO FAR this season, influenza has had a comparatively weak impact in the United States, although reported levels of influenza-like illness have been increasing in recent weeks.

Still, physicians to date are reporting lower than average seasonal rates of influenza illness among their patients and there has been no overall excess of influenza-associated mortality, say investigators in the Influenza Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga.

Influenza-tracking epidemiologists around the nation, of course, are keeping their fingers crossed.

Worst Yet to Come?  Only about half the states have reported any influenza activity at all, just eight states have reported widespread disease, and about 93% of the viral isolates reported by the World Health Organization's influenza surveillance system have been influenza type B.Even as it continues to monitor this season's activity, the World Health Organization is laying down its recommendations for the three antigens to be