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Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza

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Overview

Up to 20% of the U.S. population will develop influenza each year. Influenza causes significant illness and death, especially in vulnerable populations such as infants, elderly, and immunocompromised persons. In April 2009 local healthcare providers, state health departments, and the CDC responded to influenza caused by a new virus (2009 Novel H1N1), first identified in Mexico. A pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June 2009, the first since 1968. Unlike seasonal influenza, the groups at high risk for severe illness due to H1N1 virus included otherwise healthy children over the age of 2 years. In the U.S., the pandemic virus caused a substantial rise in influenza activity. The WHO declared the pandemic over in August 2010; however, the 2009 H1N1 virus is expected to circulate as one of several influenza strains during the 2010-1011 flu season.

Community healthcare providers including pharmacists and nurses play a key role in symptom recognition, patient triage, and provision of drug information, medications, vaccines and education. This article will review characteristics of influenza, including viral evolution, signs and symptoms of infection, subsequent complications, diagnosis, and the approach to management.

Details

Publication Date: 11/01/2010
Expiration Date: 11/01/2013
CE Credit: 1.5 (0.15 CEU)
Type of Activity: Knowledge-based

This program was developed by The Rx Consultant and published by Continuing Education Network, Inc. The Rx Consultant accepts no advertising or financial support from the pharmaceutical industry and is funded solely by the purchase of programs. The Rx Consultant is dedicated to providing unbiased, balanced information to health care practitioners.

Programs developed by The Rx Consultant are written by health care providers with expertise in the topic area, peer-reviewed, extensively edited, and fact-checked. This development process was created to insure that every program presents information that is current, accurate, relevant to "real world" health care providers, and written in an easy reading, "plain English" style.

Authors

Colleen M. Terriff, Pharm.D., BCPS (AQ-ID), Clinical Associate Professor, Washington State University College of Pharmacy, Deaconess Medical Center, Spokane, Washington.

Disclosure Statement

Dr. Terriff reports no financial or personal relationship with any commercial interest producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing a product or service that appears in this issue.

Target Audience

This accredited program is targeted to pharmacists and nurses.

Goals & Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

    1. Discuss the general properties of influenza A disease including development of new types, pandemics versus epidemics, and transmission.
    2. Describe the symptoms of influenza infection, including classic systemic and newly recognized gastrointestinal complaints.
    3. Identify persons for whom the live, attenuated and the inactivated (standard dose and high-dose) vaccine is appropriate.
    4. Recommend appropriate antiviral treatment or prophylaxis for seasonal influenza A.

Accreditation Statements

The Rx Consultant is a publication of Continuing Education Network, Inc. Continuing Education Network, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

Continuing Education Network is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 13118. Programs approved by CA BRN are accepted by most State Boards of Nursing.

Exam & Credit Statement Procedures

Upon successful completion of this program and the post test (70%), 1.5 hours of continuing education credit will be awarded. To receive credit and your exam score, please complete the exam questions and program evaluation.

Editorial and Review Board

Editor and CE Administrator

Terry M. Baker, PharmD

Associate Editor and CE Coordinator

Tracy Farnen, PharmD

Associate Editors

James Chan, PharmD, PhD
Pharmacy Quality and Outcomes Coordinator
Kaiser Permanente
Oakland, CA

Associate Clinical Professor
School of Pharmacy
University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Ron Finley, RPh
Lecturer
Department of Clinical Pharmacy
University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Associate Member of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center
Alzheimer's Research Center

Consultant Pharmacist to the Institute on Aging-On Lok Senior Health
Institute on Aging Alzheimer's Day Care Center

Angie S. Graham, PharmD
Drug Information Coordinator
Stanford Hospital and Clinics
Stanford University Medical Center
Stanford, CA

Julio R. Lopez, PharmD, FCSHP
Chief of Pharmacy Service
VA Northern California Health Care System

Adjunct Clinical Professor
College of Pharmacy
Touro University
Vallejo, CA

Assistant Clinical Professor
School of Pharmacy
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Adjunct Professor
Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy
University of the Pacific
Stockton, CA

Visiting Associate Professor and Lecturer
Nursing School
Samuel Merritt University
Oakland, CA

Pamela Mausner, MD

Joshua J. Neumiller, PharmD, CDE, CGP, FASCP
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacotherapy
College of Pharmacy
Washington State University
And
Elder Services of Spokane
Spokane, WA

Candy Tsourounis, PharmD
Professor of Clinical Pharmacy
Medication Outcomes Center
Department of Clinical Pharmacy
School of Pharmacy
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Senior Editorial Advisor

Gerard Hatheway, PharmD, PhD

Editorial Advisors

Jocelyn Chan, PharmD
Belinda M. Danielson, RPh
Christopher M. DeSoto, PharmD
Cynthia Chan Huang, PharmD, MBA
Fred Plageman, PharmD


Editorial Advisor and Clinical Practice Consultant for Nurse Practitioners

Emily K. Meuleman, RN, C, MS

About the Rx Consultant

The Rx Consultant is a monthly publication dedicated to providing health care professionals with the information they need to educate patients about drugs and manage drug therapy. The reader is responsible for confirming the information presented here and interpreting it in relation to each patient's specific situation before utilizing the information.

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