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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