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Flashcards in Influenza Deck (16)
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what is the difference b/w epidemic and pandemic?

  • epidemic: more than what is normal to see with a particular dz
  • pandemic: worldwide outbreak


when was the last influenza pandemic?

  • Spanish Influenza 
  • 1918-1919
  • 40 million deaths
  • most likely attributed to WWI


flu virus

  • can't see w/o electron microscope
  • don't have cells, really just chains of genetic material lumped inside a protein coat
    • the proteins constantly change
  • there are 2 proteins on flu virus:
    • hemagglutinin (H)
    • neuraminadase (N)
      • H & N mutate constantly, so have to keep getting immunized


antigenic drift and shift

  • drift: is a smaller/minor change in the structure of the H & N proteins
    • minor from year to year
  • shift: large and major change in the structure of the H & N proteins


transmission of the flu

  • droplets
  • respiratory
    • secretions
    • skin to skin
    • contact with particles
  • can be passed by coughing, sneezing, talking
  • can be contagious 48 hr before S/S start and 5 days after


what is the difference b/w flu and common cold?




stuffy nose



  • influenza: comes on sudden
    • fever: yes, usually high
    • headache: yes
    • exhaustion: early and sometimes severe
    • stuffy nose: sometimes
    • cough: yes
    • complications: bronchitis, pneumonia
  • cold:
    • fever: unusual
    • headache: unusual
    • exhaustion: never
    • stuffy nose: common
    • cough: unusual
    • complications: sinus congestion


treatment of influenza

  • neuraminidase inhibitors: 
    • Tamiflu (oseltajmivir)--have to start w/in 24-48 hours to shorten and limit the illness
      • SE: nausea (so may need Zofran)
      • don't usually give to children unless hospitalized b/c causes severe nausea
  • M2 ion channel inhibitors
  • no aspirin for under 18 b/c of Reye's Syndrome
  • can give acetaminophen-ibuprofen
  • abx tx should be reserved for the tx of secondary bacterial pneumonia


influenza vaccine

  • have to be developed yearly based on the strain that hit those ppl who had it the season before (so we go off of Australia)
  • NOT a live vaccine-->so can't get flu from vaccine
  • takes 7-10 days to build up immunity to vaccine


SEs of the influenza vaccine

  • Guillain Barre Syndrome
  • pain, redness, swelling at the injection site lasting 1-2 days
  • systemic SEs


groups to target with the flu vaccine

  • F: facilities such as nursing homes or chronic care facilities
  • L: likelihood of transmission to high risk persons (those over 65+, women who will be pregnant during flu season)
  • U: underlying medical conditions


contraindications to the flu vaccine

  • egg allergy
  • acute febrile illness
  • previous Guillain Barre Syndrome


if we have a pandemic tonight, how long would it take to develop a vaccine for the flu?

6 mos


priorities during flu season

  • assemble all available surveillance data
  • inform public and health dept


how to prevent the flu transmission

  • cover cough: cover mouth and nose w tissue or cough/sneeze into upper sleeve, not hands
    • put used tissues in trash
  • wash hands with soap and water
    • clean w/ alcohol based hand cleaner
    • wash stethoscope


priorities for public health containment

  • emphasize personal hygiene, cough etiquette
  • close schools/public events
  • isolate sick and quarantine those exposed
  • promote social distancing
  • discourage "absence penalties"


priorities for public health control

  • allocate and distribute antivirals and vaccines
  • set priorities 
  • establish protocols for use