Infection control measures to prevent seasonal influenza in healthcare settings
- Anna R Thorner, MD
Anna R Thorner, MD
- Deputy Editor — Infectious Diseases
- Assistant Professor of Medicine (Part-time)
- Harvard Medical School
In order to optimally prevent or control influenza outbreaks, it is important to identify cases early and implement multiple infection control measures as soon as possible . Recommendations regarding infection control measures for seasonal influenza infection in healthcare settings have been provided by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will be reviewed here . Other groups have also developed hospital disaster relief plans for influenza pandemics [3-5].
Healthcare settings include acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities (eg, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities), physicians' offices, urgent care centers, outpatient clinics, and home healthcare .
Other prevention strategies for seasonal and avian influenza virus infections are discussed separately. (See "Seasonal influenza in children: Prevention and treatment with antiviral drugs" and "Prevention of seasonal influenza with antiviral drugs in adults" and "Treatment and prevention of avian influenza".)
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested that the following measures be undertaken to prevent the spread of seasonal influenza viruses in healthcare settings :
●Promote and administer the seasonal influenza vaccine to healthcare workers and emergency medical services personnel annually. This is the most important measure to prevent seasonal influenza infections. (See "Seasonal influenza vaccination in adults" and "Immunizations for healthcare providers", section on 'Influenza vaccine'.)
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevention strategies for seasonal influenza in healthcare settings. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/healthcaresettings.htm (Accessed on March 24, 2015).
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- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim guidance on infection control measures for 2009 h1n1 influenza in healthcare settings, including protection of healthcare personnel http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidelines_infection_control.htm (Accessed on October 14, 2011).
- Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Respiratory protection for healthcare workers in the workplace against novel H1N1 influenza A. http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3740/71769/72967.aspx (Accessed on October 01, 2009).
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- Noti JD, Lindsley WG, Blachere FM, et al. Detection of infectious influenza virus in cough aerosols generated in a simulated patient examination room. Clin Infect Dis 2012; 54:1569.
- IMMUNIZATION OF HEALTHCARE WORKERS
- GENERAL STEPS TO MINIMIZE EXPOSURES
- ISOLATION PRECAUTIONS
- Standard precautions
- - Hand hygiene
- - Gloves
- - Gowns
- Droplet precautions
- - Duration
- Aerosol-generating procedures
- Type of respiratory protection
- MANAGING VISITOR ACCESS
- MANAGING HEALTHCARE WORKERS
- Ill healthcare workers
- HCWs at increased risk for complications
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS