My facility considers October through March as “flu season.” Does this mean flu season is officially over for MDS Section O coding purposes?
It’s best not to restrict yourself to specific date ranges for influenza vaccination seasons and reporting periods. According to the RAI: Influenza can occur at any time, but most influenza occurs from October through May. However, residents should be immunized as soon as the vaccine becomes available and continue until influenza is no longer circulating in your geographic area.
Information about the current influenza season can be obtained by accessing the CDC Seasonal Influenza (Flu) website. This website provides information on influenza activity and has an interactive map that shows geographic spread of influenza: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivitysurv.htm, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm.
Facilities can also contact their local health department website for local influenza surveillance information.
Eleisha Wilkes, RN, GERO-BC, RAC-CT, DNS-CT