The CDC has updated it’s recommendations for use of rapid tests for influenza. Although they are easy to perform, with turnaround times of 15 minutes, most have limited sensitivity and therefore high false negative rates. This should be factored in when using these rapid tests, and patients with a high clinical suspicion for influenza should be treated as such, even if the rapid test is negative (CDC site).
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).