#3: New CDC Guidelines Aim to Prevent Future Influenza Pandemics
Using what they learned from the 2009 influenza pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new guidelines on pandemic prevention.
The 2009 influenza pandemic was caused by the novel A H1N1 strain of the influenza virus. A total of 288 pediatric deaths resulting from the infection made the 2009 pandemic “the deadliest flu season of the past decade.” The new guidelines focus on “the importance of nonpharmaceutical interventions that people and communities can take to help control the spread of respiratory viral infections.” In addition, the guidelines provide recommendations for state and local health officials for prepandemic planning, such as voluntary home isolation, increased focus on hand hygiene, and the use of face masks.
The new guidelines also stress the fact that individuals who are infected with the influenza virus are infectious 1 day prior to the onset of symptoms, and they “continue to be infectious for 5 to 7 days after becoming ill.” In addition, those patients who are immunocompromised or infants can shed the virus for up to 21 days.
Read more about the new CDC guidelines here
#2: The Hazards of Flawed Infection Control Studies—for Providers and Patients
This week, Contagion
® contributor, Saskia v. Popescu, MPH, MA, CIC, continued her discussion of the issues surrounding flawed infection control studies. Popescu brought attention to the fact that although many of industry-sponsored and hospital-run infection control studies are small in size, because the industry is desperate for new methods to fight healthcare-associated infections, they pack a large punch in terms of impact. This can become particularly troublesome as indeed some of these studies are wrought with flaws and bias.
In addition to drawing attention to the damage that these flawed and biased studies can do, Popescu sheds light on the fact that the infection control industry’s need for new methods seems to be “falling on deaf ears.” Sad news for an industry that has been “fighting an up-hill battle for decades.” With the increase in antibiotic resistance and the growing threat of emerging infectious diseases, new products and methods to treat these infections are sorely needed. Some manufacturers have worked to provide new products that can fight these pathogens and infection prevention programs have changed their methods; however, many are still trying to catch up and “are lagging behind… desperately trying to make an existing product fit new threats.” As infection control programs struggle to fight the problems of today, legitimate research programs are necessary to test new products capable of truly handling these new threats
Learn more about the hazards of flawed infection control studies, here