The California Department of Public Health (CDPHi) Influenza Surveillance Program is a collaborative effort between CDPH, the CDC, Kaiser Permanente, California local health jurisdictions and participating sentinel providers and laboratories.
Annual influenza epidemics follow a winter seasonal pattern in the United States with typical activity peaking during late December to early February. CDPH obtains and analyzes clinical, pharmacy and laboratory data year-round in an effort to determine the timing and impact of influenza activity and to determine how well circulating strains of the virus match those used in the current influenza vaccines.
The most current weekly report on influenza and other respiratory disease activity can be found below, under “Hot Topics & Updates.”
The CDC is recommending that emergency antiviral drugs within state and local stockpiles not be used to treat seasonal influenza cases.
These drugs (Tamiflu and Relenza) purchased under government contracts have previously received an expiration date extension for up to 7 years. In addition, the FDA is allowing the use of Tamiflu capsules from these stockpiles past the 7 year product shelf life.
Tamiflu capsules held in strategic stockpiles may now be used for a maximum of 10 years beyond manufacture date. FDA will not take enforcement action with regard to the storage or emergency use of these lots of Tamiflu capsules, provided that the products have been stored under labeled storage conditions.
Due to the recent increase in influenza patients, hospitals should review requirements for tent use. According to a new State Fire Marshal (SMF) policy, tents with labels do not have to be annually recertified. Other current requirements are detailed in the attached California Department of Public Health (CDPHi) guidance. Hospitals should note that the CDPH Licensing and Certification (L&C) district office must provide written approval for tent use as explained in All Facility Letter 09-39. In the absence of any specific suspension of statute or regulation by Governor’s Executive Order, tents will be approved for use only as waiting rooms; to conduct triage and medical screening exams; and to provide basic first-aid and outpatient treatment that meets all applicable rules and regulations. Any other use may require a program flex. The SFM approves the nonflammable material used in tents, and requires each section of the top and sidewalls of tents designed to hold 10 or more occupants to have an SFM-approval label. Hospitals should only use tents with an SFM label. If no labels are affixed to tents, hospitals should contact their local fire jurisdiction.
Local fire marshals, depending on their jurisdiction, may have a variety of requirements as prerequisites for tent use. Hospital owners should be in contact with their local fire marshals now to learn the requirements prior to the use of a tent.
OSHPD will review utility connections for tents that originate in, pass through or pass under buildings regulated by OSHPD. OSHPD will also require that tents do not obstruct the required means of egress from the hospital. OSHPD is willing to pre-approve the use of a tent when a hospital can specifically designate where it will be located on the hospital grounds. Hospitals are encouraged to receive this preapproval. This can be scheduled through a field review by area compliance staff.