Government shutdown would suspend CDC's flu program: 3 things to know

HHS said Friday it would suspend the CDC's influenza program amid a particularly virulent influenza season if Congress could not come to a spending agreement before midnight, according to a report from Bloomberg Politics.

Here are three things to know.

1. While House Republicans passed a stopgap funding bill Thursday evening, Senate Democrats may reject the legislation as it carried no protections for immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

2. In a contingency staffing plan, HHS laid out how it would operate during a government shutdown. Among the changes in operations, the agency said it would furlough 50 percent of its workers, adding that the CDC "would be unable to support the annual seasonal influenza program, outbreak detection and linking across state boundaries using genetic and molecular analysis."

3. The CDC has reported widespread flu activity in 49 states this flu season. The most frequently identified virus type in positive specimens continued to be influenza A, with a majority of these cases — 89.7 percent — attributable to the H3N2 strain. This strain is associated with more severe illnesses in the elderly and young children.

To read HHS' contingency staffing plan in full, click here.

More articles on infection control: 
Study: Humans can spread flu just by breathing 
Short, long courses of antibiotic therapy equally effective for Enterobacteriaceae treatment 
Viral photos reveal 'unsanitary conditions' at AllianceHealth Midwest hospital

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