SafetyShare® newsletter brought to you by the Premier Safety Institute ®
Gina Pugliese, RN, MS, editor
Seasonal Flu Update
Last year the flu season was very mild and some of us barely noticed. But this year the flu season started early and cases are more severe and have shown
up in more than 41 states – with both peaking and waning of cases in some parts of the country.
Not too late to get vaccinated
Unfortunately, 60 percent of Americans have not yet taken advantage of vaccination – but it is not too late. CDC recommends that individuals should
still get their flu vaccination as soon as possible.
Vaccine moderately effective and can offer a milder case of flu
Although CDC reports that the effectiveness of the current vaccine is moderate, about 62 percent effective (similar to previous years), that still means
that 62 percent of those that get vaccinated are protected. Also, flu vaccination, even with moderate effectiveness, has been show to offer other benefits,
including reducing illness, antibiotic use, time lost from work, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Few spot shortages but vaccine still available
While there are some spot shortages of flu vaccine being reported, available flu vaccine can be located in your areas by using the flu vaccine finder at
Flu activity likely to continue for several more weeks
CDC predicts that flu season will continue for several more weeks since it has lasted for about 12 weeks for the past ten years and we will be starting
You can still infect others without symptoms
Research suggests that flu can be passed on 24 hours before any symptoms occur. Also, some people can be infected with the flu virus and have no symptoms
at all or only respiratory symptoms without fever but still spread the virus to others.
Antiviral drugs can lessen the time you are sick
Antiviral drugs can lessen the time you are sick and prevent serious complications. Antiviral drugs are especially important for people who are very sick
with influenza and who are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications, like young children, people 65 and older, people with certain
underlying chronic and high risk conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes, chronic heart disease), and pregnant women.
CMS requires hospital reporting of staff vaccination rates
Acute care hospitals participating in the CMS IPPS Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting program were required to submit data on influenza vaccination of
healthcare staff via the CDC NHSN module beginning on January 1, 2013 for the 2012-2013 influenza season. Data must be reported for all employees on the
payroll, licensed independent practitioners (physicians, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants affiliated with the hospital but not on
payroll), and students, trainees, and volunteers aged 18 or older. Details
Don’t stockpile flu-related supplies
Although there are no reported national shortages of flu-related supplies to date, do not stockpile any supplies and always use authorized distribution
channels to assure quality control of all products.
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