A cluster of 28 students tested positive for influenza A since Oct. 24 at the University of Rhode Island (South Kingstown), the first known influenza outbreak of the state this year, according to the state’s department of health.
The state laboratory noted infection control procedures have been reviewed with the university, but there are no known common trends linking these students to the same dorms or classes.
A selection of student samples tested as the influenza A:H3 subtype with specimens forwarded to the CDC for further analysis.
Only 0.1% specimens tested positive for influenza in U.S. clinical laboratories this week, 38.5% of these were influenza A whereas 61.5% were influenza B, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) cumulative data since Oct. 3, 2021.
The U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet), which monitors outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI), noted as of Oct. 23, 1.8% of all outpatient visits to a health care provider were due to an influenza-like illness, which is below the national baseline of 2.5%, “therefore, any increase in ILI activity is likely due to increased circulation of other respiratory viruses.”
The CDC recommends an annual influenza vaccine (for those eligible six months and older) as the best way to protect against influenza and its complications.