The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend early treatment with antiviral medications for hospitalized patients and high-risk outpatients with flu, including children under 2 years old, the agency said Friday in an advisory. Clinicians also should vaccinate patients for as long as flu viruses are circulating, and promptly start antiviral treatment for severely ill and high-risk patients with suspected flu without waiting for laboratory confirmation, the agency said. Outpatient visits for flu-like illness have been elevated for nine weeks, primarily due to certain influenza B viruses that can cause severe illness in all ages and higher pediatric mortality. Certain influenza A viruses that can cause severe illness also are increasing, CDC said.

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