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Background | Seasonal Influenza 2009| H1N1 Influenza| Avian Influenza (H5N1)|Resources | Articles

 


 

Background

Seasonal Influenza

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a seasonal flu vaccination each year.

Every year in the United States, on average:

  • 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu;
  • more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications; and
  • about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes.

Some people, such as older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), are at increased risk for serious complications from seasonal flu illness. 

Symptoms of seasonal flu include:

  • fever (often high)
  • headache
  • extreme tiredness
  • dry cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle aches
  • Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults. Some people who have been infected with the new H1N1 flu virus have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

(Source: CDC)

To learn more about seasonal flu, click here.

 

2009 H1N1 Influenza

2009 H1N1 (sometimes called "swine flu”) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that a pandemic of 2009 H1N1 flu was underway.

The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1 and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Severe illnesses and deaths have occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus. (Source: CDC)

To learn more about 2009 H1N1 influenza click here.

 

Avian Influenza (H5N1)

Although avian influenza A viruses usually do not infect humans, rare cases of human infection with avian influenza A viruses have been reported. Most human infections with avian influenza A viruses have occurred following direct contact with infected poultry. Human clinical illness from infection with avian influenza A viruses has ranged from eye infections (conjunctivitis) to severe respiratory disease (pneumonia) to death.

Since November 2003, nearly 400 cases of human infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses have been reported by more than a dozen countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Europe and the Near East. Highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses have never been detected among wild birds, domestic poultry, or people in the United States.Most human cases of H5N1 virus infection are thought to have occurred as a result of direct contact with sick or dead infected poultry.

The reported signs and symptoms of avian influenza in humans have ranged from eye infections (conjunctivitis) to influenza-like illness symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches) to severe respiratory illness (e.g. pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, viral pneumonia) sometimes accompanied by nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and neurologic changes. (Source: CDC)

To learn more about avian influenza click here.


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Resources

CDC finalizes flu prevention guidance for health settingsThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued new guidance for preventing flu in healthcare settings that reflects a year's worth of new information about the 2009 H1N1 virus and recommends surgical masks rather than N-95 respirators when providing routine care for flu patients

Seasonal Influenza
Seasonal Influenza (Flu)

General information about seasonal influenza from the CDC.
How Does Seasonal Flu Differ From Pandemic Flu?A side by side comparison from MedlinePlus.
Cover Your CoughStop the Spread of Germs that Can Make You and Others Sick!
InfluenzaGeneral information from the WHO.
Seasonal Influenza Vaccination - Important Protection for Healthcare WorkersAn OSHA Fact Sheet.
Preventing Influenza (the "Flu")Information from SEIU.

APIC Position Paper: Influenza Vaccination Should Be a Condition of Employment for Healthcare Personnel, Unless Medically Contraindicated

APIC recommends that acute care hospitals, long term care, and other facilities that employ healthcare personnel require annual influenza immunization as a condition of employment unless there are compelling medical contraindications.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has announced that it has posted an expanded and reorganized web page on protecting workers from seasonal influenza on the job.
2009 H1N1 Influenza
 

Report of the Review Committee on the Functioning of theInternational Health Regulations (2005) and on Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) 2009

The World Health Organization (WHO) established a review committee to evaluate its performance after the 2009 global outbreak of H1N1 influenza.
H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) General information about H1N1 influenza from MedlinePlus.
H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)An interactive tutorial.
Novel H1N1 Influenza A VirusNovel H1N1 Influenza A Virus Issue Toolkit from OSAP.
Avian Influenza (H5N1)
Guidance for Protecting Employees Against Avian Flu
Avian influenza, commonly known as "avian flu" or "bird flu," is caused by influenza type A viruses that normally only occur in birds.
Bird Flu General information about H5N1 influenza from MedlinePlus.
Avian influenzaGeneral information from the WHO.
Seasonal Influenza A (H3N2) Virus InfectionsThe following CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) notice was issued August 4, 2010.
Preventing Transmission of Pandemic Influenza and Other Viral Respiratory Diseases: Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Personnel Update 2010An IOM report.

Preventing H1N1 Virus (Swine Influenza) In Dental Settings

From Delaware Health and Social Services - Division of Public Health
H3N2v and YouLearn more about H3N2v.

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Articles

Policymakers plot next pandemic flu preparedness steps US influenza policy experts who gathered in Washington, DC, today called for better vaccines and other steps for improving pandemic and seasonal flu preparedness, themes echoed in an action plan released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
Attitudes of dental healthcare workers towards the influenza vaccinationThe author's findings confirm the importance of a comprehensive approach to the influenza vaccination, ensuring that DHCWs are correctly informed about the vaccine and that it is convenient to receive it. It could be shown that an immunization campaign at the workplace seems to be capable of improving vaccination rates, one-third of the vaccinees have been vaccinated for the first time.
Scientists Discover One of the Ways the Flu Virus Disarms Host CellsWhen you are hit with the flu, you know it immediately -- fever, chills, sore throat, aching muscles, fatigue. This is your body mounting an immune response to the invading virus. But less is known about what is happening on the molecular level.

CDC reports limited person-to-person spread, more H3N2v cases

 

8/24/2012 - The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 52 more variant H3N2 (H3N2v) flu infections and said it has learned of three instances of likely human-to-human spread of the novel virus, though most cases have been linked to pig exposure, especially at fairs.
CDC Warns About Reemergence Of Swine Flu In USThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting new cases of new swine flu infection. It has issued warnings for people to take steps to protect themselves from the virus.
Single Flu Shot Safe for Kids With Egg Allergy

Trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) is safe to use in children with severe egg allergy, and can be given as a single dose, according to research presented here at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting.

Medscape registration required.

Egg Allergy and the Influenza Vaccine -- A New Perspective

An expert interview with Matthew J. Greenhawt, MD, MBA

Medscape registration required.

Influenza Vaccine: Guidelines for Those With Egg Allergy

Hi. My name is Paul Offit and I'm speaking to you from the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Today I thought we would talk about some recent developments regarding the influenza vaccine.

Medscape registration required.

Allergic to Eggs? It's OK to Get a Flu Shot

Hello. I'm Dr. Sandra Fryhofer. Welcome to Medicine Matters. The topic: Egg-allergic patients can now get flu shots. Here is why it matters.

Medscape registration required.

CDC stresses need for flu shot every yearThe agency disagrees with some health experts saying healthy people who got the vaccine last year might not need it this season.
Post Pandemic Flu Shots Hit All-Time HighMore people in the US got a seasonal flu shot in 2010-2011 than ever before, according to estimates of vaccine coverage from the CDC.
Universal Flu Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel: A Patient Safety IssueDespite the well established risk from nosocomial transmission of influenza virus, only 37% of healthcare personnel (HCP) received the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine—a percentage that is much lower than is typical for seasonal flu vaccine (62%) and much lower than HHS goals for hospitals.
H1N1 (Swine Flu) Information for Dental Offices and Dental PatientsPatients with an acute respiratory illness should be identified at check-in and placed in a single-patient room with the door kept closed.
Swine-origin H1N1 influenza A virus and dental practice: a critical reviewBased on information up to November 2009, the aim of this article was to summarise significant data on this novel virus and a clinical practice guideline for dental professionals.
Avian influenza (bird flu) and dentistry. Interview by Nelson L. Rhodus.Now is the time for dental health care professionals to plan and prepare for their response to a potential pandemic.
Emerging Infectious DiseasesThe January 2006 issue focusing upon avian influenza.

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