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Infection control measures to prevent seasonal influenza in healthcare settings

Anna R Thorner, MD
Section Editor
Martin S Hirsch, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


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 [1]. 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 [2]. 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 [2].

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 [2]:

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 health care providers", section on 'Influenza vaccine'.)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 10, 2016.
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