As the influenza season is still active, the ACIP has issued updated guidelines on the use of anti-viral agents in influenza. In summary, any patient sick enough to be hospitalized with suspected or confirmed influenza should be treated with oseltamivir or zanamivir. Although the most benefit is received in those treated within the first 48 hours of illness, hospitalized patients may still derive benefit after 48 hours and should be considered for treatment. Full recommendations are available on line (MMWR)
The USPTF got schooled in 2009 when they released their guidelines for breast cancer screening. They did not prepare for the backlash nor did they have media personnel or training to deal with the public’s ire. The task force learned a lesson, and guideline release and dissemination has changed as a result. The USPTF has become less forthcoming […]
China has now reported 126 human cases of H7N9 influenza, including 24 deaths. Almost all cases had severe respiratory illnesses requiring hospitalization. No cases have been seen in the US, and the CDC is actively working on a vaccine (CDC update).
This study found that hospitalized influenza patients can transmit influenza particles up to 6 feet away, and the particle sizes were smaller than what could be controlled with standard surgical masks. This study calls into question the efficacy of standard droplet precautions to limit the spread of influenza (abstract).