Update: Access to Influenza Countermeasures in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has received reports of challenges in obtaining sufficient supply of antivirals for prophylaxis and treatment of influenza of patients and staff in long-term care facilities (LTCFs).

If a facility in Wisconsin is unable to obtain sufficient influenza antiviral medication for treatment of cases and prophylaxis of residents and unvaccinated staff during an influenza outbreak, they should inform their local health department. Local health departments can contact DHS with requests for aid in locating influenza antivirals. Please note that confirmed or suspected outbreaks of respiratory illness in health care facilities, including LTCFs, should be reported immediately by telephone to the local health officer, or to the local health officer’s designee, upon identification. For more information on reporting and managing outbreaks, visit the Preventing and Controlling Respiratory Illness Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Facilities page on the DHS website.

Please be advised that requesting resources from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) requires that all other options for resources have been exhausted. Before consulting with DHS, it is recommended that health care facilities and local health departments:

  • Ensure that the outbreak has been reported to the local health department and is documented in WEDSS.
  • Compile information on the number of diagnosed cases of influenza in the facility, the number of residents awaiting influenza testing results, the number of residents living in the facility, and the course and types of influenza antivirals currently on hand.
  • Attempt to acquire influenza antivirals from all available resources, such as sister facilities, non-contract pharmacies, and local hospitals and health care systems.

Upon consultation, DHS will aid with locating product available from in-state commercial locations when possible. If product is unavailable and the request is deemed to meet the criteria laid out by SNS, a request will be made to the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR). ASPR will review requests and determine if SNS resources will be sent.

In the event that additional courses of antivirals cannot be obtained, DHS urges facilities to continue to use the advice in the DHS Health Alert #53: Interim Guidance for Clinicians to Prioritize Antiviral Treatment of Influenza in the Setting of Reduced Availability of Oseltamivir, and the CDC Health Alert on the same topic.


Email: DHSresponse@dhs.wisconsin.gov

Posted in DHS