Influenza/Pandemics

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Influenza/Pandemics

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges clinicians to take action to ensure that all children are protected against influenza. Planning for seasonal influenza provides a strong infrastructure for severe influenza seasons and pandemics. Each year, the AAP works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address influenza prevention and control in children. The AAP policy, "Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2018-2019", offers up-to-date recommendations for routine use of seasonal influenza vaccines and antiviral medications for the prevention and treatment of influenza in children. The AAP also has a policy on mandatory influenza immunization for all health care personnel.

AAP Influenza Implementation Guidance

The AAP updated its Influenza Implementation Guidance for the 2018-2019 season. It is designed to help practitioners and pediatric office staff prevent influenza by delivering influenza vaccine according to AAP policy. The guidance includes information for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, medical assistants, office managers, and other office staff.

Red Book Online Influenza Resource Page

The AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases has compiled a comprehensive list of influenza resources to serve as a centralized point of reference for vaccine guidance, prevention, treatment, payment, policies, news, and other information pertaining to influenza for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. The Red Book Online Influenza Resource Page is updated frequently as needed, including pertinent information related to seasonal, H1N1, avian, and pandemic influenza. Some links may require member or subscriber log-in.

What's the Latest with the Flu

In collaboration with the CDC, the AAP developed the "What's the Latest with the Flu" messaging series to offer a quick snapshot for clinicians and child care providers that addresses the current situation with the flu with links back to AAP and/or CDC resources. This monthly messaging series runs each year during influenza season. If you would like to be added to an electronic mailing list to receive these monthly messages, email here.

Online Course: Influenza Update: Prevention, Treatment, and Management of Influenza

This six-part course series provides key information for clinicians about the 2018-2019 flu season. The purpose of this series is to educate pediatric health care professionals on the current AAP policy recommendations for routine use of seasonal influenza vaccine and antiviral medications for the prevention and treatment of influenza in infants, children, and adolescents. The following content is included:

  • Activity 1: Clinical Presentation and Complications
  • Activity 2: Diagnosis and Diagnostic Tests
  • Activity 3: Prevention of Influenza
  • Activity 4: Treatment for the Clinician
  • Activity 5: Vaccination in Egg-Allergic Individuals
  • Activity 6: Immunizations for all Health Care Personnel

Webinar: Recommendations for Influenza Prevention and Treatment in Children

In collaboration with the CDC, the AAP convened a CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) webinar in September 2018 titled, "2018-2019 Recommendations for Influenza Prevention and Treatment in Children: An Update for Pediatric Providers". During this COCA webinar, subject matter experts from the AAP and CDC discussed strategies primary care providers and medical subspecialists could use to improve influenza prevention and control in children for the 2018-2019 season. The archived presentation and the PowerPoint slides are available online.

Pandemic Influenza

An influenza pandemic is a global outbreak of a new influenza A virus. Pandemics happen when new (novel) influenza A viruses emerge which are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way. Several resources have been developed to assist with planning for an influenza pandemic. The CDC released interim updated planning guidance on allocating and targeting pandemic influenza vaccine during an influenza pandemic. Developed in 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Pandemic Influenza Plan aims to highlight and build upon the successes of the last decade and describe efforts that are needed to improve pandemic preparedness.

1918 Influenza Pandemic 100 Year Commemoration

The 1918 influenza pandemic devastated entire communities and took an estimated 675,000 American lives. It was the most severe pandemic in recent history. The CDC developed a Web page to highlight this event and share strategies to address remaining gaps, increase pandemic preparedness, and minimize the effects of future influenza pandemics.

Preparing Child Care Programs for Pandemic Influenza

Partnering with early education and child care programs or schools to encourage proper influenza prevention and control strategies for all children, staff, and caregivers is hugely beneficial. Children in child care centers represent an important population to consider in attempts to mitigate the spread of an influenza pandemic. The AAP conducted a national survey in 2008 and 2016 that assessed directors' reports of their child care centers' pandemic influenza preparation before and after the 2009 H1N1 novel influenza pandemic. An article was developed in Pediatrics to highlight the results. The AAP has a Web page that contains strategies to assist with preparing child care programs for pandemic influenza. Additional influenza-specific resources are available on the AAP Child Care Providers Web page

AAP Resources Created During the 2009-2010 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic

The AAP developed the following resources in response to the H1N1 pandemic that may be relevant to future planning for pandemics:

  • Algorithm to Guide Clinical Decision Making – Helps physicians (and those under their supervision) determine whether children with symptoms of influenza-like illness should be evaluated for treatment, receive a medical evaluation, or be monitored for potential follow-up.

  • Flu: A Guide for Parents of Children or Adolescents With Chronic Health Conditions – This resource for parents discusses flu symptoms, complications, vaccinations, and when a child should return to school after being sick.

  • Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus and Children With Underlying Medical Conditions – The AAP identified an expert work group to review data on children at highest risk of experiencing fatal outcomes from novel influenza A (H1N1) virus and provide information to assist clinical providers in the prevention, management, and treatment of H1N1 influenza of these children.

  • Pediatric Preparedness Resource Kit – To improve pediatric preparedness for future public health emergencies, the AAP and the CDC convened a meeting to review information from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. As a result of discussions at this meeting, the Pediatric Preparedness Resource Kit was developed. This resource allows for pediatricians, public health leaders and other pediatric care providers to assess what is already happening in their community or state and help determine what needs to be done before an emergency or disaster. The kit will promote collaborative discussions and decision making about pediatric preparedness planning.

Additional articles and resources prepared by AAP members are available on request. For more information, contact AAP staff here.

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