CDC releases rough draft of updated influenza guidelines for public comment

By: June 23rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

After announcing a review of the 2009 interim flu guidelines, the CDC has released a rough draft of updated guidelines on the Federal Register (search “CDC”), which will be up for public comment until July 22.

“In particular, one major change from the spring and fall of 2009 is the widespread availability of a safe and effective vaccine for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus,” the updated guidelines read. “Second, the overall risk of hospitalization and death among people infected with this strain, while uncertain in spring and fall of 2009 is now known to be substantially lower than pre-pandemic assumptions. The current circumstances and new information justify an update of the recommendations. This updated guidance continues to emphasize the importance of a comprehensive influenza prevention strategy that can be applied across the entire spectrum of healthcare settings.”

The rough draft also addresses the use of N95 respirators, a hotly contested issue throughout the flu season. The updated guidelines call for healthcare workers to adhere to droplet precautions and use surgical masks, except during aerosol generating procedures when an N95 respirator should be worn to provide added protection.

The document also addresses fundamental prevention efforts including:

  • Administration of influenza vaccine
  • Implementation of respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
  • Appropriate management of ill HCP
  • Adherence to infection control precautions for all patient-care activities and aerosol-generating procedures
  • Implementing environmental and engineering infection control measures

Click here to read the full document along with directions for submitting comments.

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By Ellen Guerin on June 23rd, 2010 at 8:22 am

When I click to open Federal Register or the “Click here” statement, I get an error message “Couldn’t open tmp file”

By Evan Sweeney on June 23rd, 2010 at 8:30 am

Looks like the Federal Register site has a time-out function of some kind. If you click here and search “CDC” the influenza guidelines are the fourth result from the top, titled: “Updated Guidance: Prevention Strategies for Seasonal Influenza”

By Betsy Shapiro on June 24th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Two investigative reports in Europe question the 2004 guidelines the WHO developed based in part on the advice of three experts who received consulting fees from the two leading manufacturers of antiviral drugs used against the virus, Roche and GlaxoSmithKline.

I personally don’t trust what I hear when it’s the fox that’s guarding the henhouse.

CDC stopped actually stopped testing people long ago to see whether symptoms they had were from seasonal flu, a bad cold or the actual H1N1. This scare is basically unfounded. We have no accurate statistics.

CDC it talking out of two sides of their mouth with this one. The spend a lot of time stating how important vaccination is for HCW’s then go on to say that mandatory vaccination is “a controverial issue” (that has a high DUH factor). Most of us have now spent years working to improve our immunization rates. It is clear that we probably will not get to the needed levels without a requirement for vaccination.

Too bad that politics has now crept into the CDC. They used to be a group that we could look to for good scientific based recommendations.

By Marjorie King on June 30th, 2010 at 8:59 am

When Iclick to open federal register I get a message “Couldn’t open tmp file

By Evan Sweeney on June 30th, 2010 at 9:30 am

Looks like the Federal Register site has a time-out function of some kind. If you click here and search “CDC” the influenza guidelines are the fourth result from the top, titled: “Updated Guidance: Prevention Strategies for Seasonal Influenza”

By Monica Vitale on June 30th, 2010 at 10:30 am

I would just hope the CDC makes a full investigation before handing out any recomemndations that then get changed later on. It is hard to keep the trust of employees when recommendations change every other week.

By Doris Tucker on June 30th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I was not able to access the temp file to look at the actual Federal document from your site, however, I believe the use of a surgical mask will be safe as long as there is clear deliniation of what constitutes an aerosol generating procedure. That was the other area of discrepancy that appeared last year in various published information. Thank you.


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