Jul 1, 2009

Swine Flu as Tea Leaves for Seasonal Flu: Podcast TMA

This year's flu season could get hairy for physicians. That's because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and public health officials are forecasting the reemergence of the H1N1 flu strain that hit the nation this spring and spread to pandemic proportion. In response, the pharmaceutical industry is busy working on producing an H1N1 vaccine. Physicians can take steps now to get ready to amplify vaccination efforts to protect the public and themselves against seasonal flu and H1N1 flu this fall. This installment of podcast TMA examines the likely recurrence of H1N1 flu and the physician response necessary to prevent the spread of that virus and of seasonal influenza. Download the show now. The cover story of the July 2009 issue of Texas Medicine magazine takes a look at the state's response to H1N1 flu and efforts to produce an effective vaccine in time for flu season. Today, Edward Sherwood, MD, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System chief of staff, chair of TMA's Committee on Infectious Diseases, and Williamson County health authority; and Pedro Piedra, MD, professor of molecular virology, microbiology, and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, discuss what physicians need to know to cope with H1N1 flu and seasonal influenza this fall. This installment covers:

  • Additional precautions health care workers should take to protect themselves from both types of flu;
  • Advantages and challenges of administering an H1N1 flu vaccine and a seasonal flu vaccine in physicians' offices;
  • Resources that help physicians stay up to date on both viruses; and
  • Federal and state governmental response to the H1N1 flu outbreak.

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