Loyola Infectious Disease Expert Addresses Impact of Temporary Halt in CDC Flu Surveillance

The government shutdown has caused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to temporarily halt in-depth surveillance of infectious diseases, including the flu, but patient care will not be impacted according to Andrew Bonwit, MD, Loyola University Health System pediatric infectious disease specialist.

The tracking of infectious diseases and flu that the CDC does is extremely important for long-term assessment, future treatment and preparation. Still, it does not impair what we as physicians will do on a day-to-day basis to take care of our patients needs, Bonwit said.

Bonwit also said that the availability of the flu vaccine will not be affected by the government shutdown, and that physicians can still access the CDC website for guidelines on using flu vaccines and specific treatments, if needed, for patients.

Flu treatment and prevention remains the same and I strongly encourage everyone over the age of six months to get a flu shot. If you do get the flu, your doctor can decide if you need anti-viral medication, which also is still available. Not everyone who gets the flu will benefit from anti-viral medications. Talk to your physician if you have any concerns, Bonwit says.

To help prevent the flu:
1. Make sure everyone in your family 6 months and older receives a flu shot

2. Frequently wash hands with soap and water

3. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze

4. Stay home if ill
Source Newsroom:Loyola University Health System