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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of November 12, 2017


#5: Are We Ready for the Next Flu Pandemic?

As flu activity continues to ramp up around the United States, public health leaders met at a recent event to discuss the lack of preparedness for the next flu pandemic.

In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) weekly FluView report for the week ending November 4, 2017, regional flu activity was up from the previous week and reported in six states—Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas—and Guam; 13 states reported local activity.

So far, this season, the CDC has reported that the majority of flu samples collected are well-matched to the components of the 2017-18 Northern Hemisphere trivalent vaccine. On November 13, 2017, a panel of thought leaders gathered at an event called The Next Pandemic, organized by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, to discuss the potential for the next flu pandemic and whether or not the world is ready for it. 

Read more about the meeting here.

#4: Healthcare-Associated Infections Are Being Used to Highlight Poor Administration Practices

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) pose unique challenges for infection prevention efforts. Because patient care is complex and involves many different individuals, it’s not surprising that infections occur; however, there are general prevention efforts that can reduce the risk significantly. The rub is that these practices need to be carried out effectively, and that requires training and education for all personnel as well as adequate staffing to carry out the prevention measures. Some health care workers are now citing deficiencies in one or all those requirements as leading to an increase in HAIs and ultimately unsafe work environments.
Earlier this year, members of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) at Stanford Healthcare utilized an increase in HAIs to highlight an unsafe work environment. Drawing attention to the financial penalties the hospital received because of the high prevalence of HAIs, the workers cited inadequate training and unrealistic turn-around-time for infection prevention tasks as the cause for the high rates of infections.

Read more about HAIs here.

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