Web site spotlight: Pandemic preparation: How to prepare for swine flu

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, October 2, 2009

As the fall and winter months approach, hospitals are gearing up for more than the average flu season. Officials are predicting that the outbreak of the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, will hit the country much harder than in the spring and that as many as half the population may become infected.

The Washington Post reports the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology has warned that as many as 1.8 million people could be hospitalized by the H1N1 virus, causing as many as 90,000 deaths. The 86-page report offers guidance on the nation’s response to the first influenza pandemic in 41 years.

Healthcare professionals can find a wealth of information online regarding infection prevention and guidance on preparing for a pandemic in your region. Three great Web sites to visit regularly for flu updates include:

  • Listen to an audio clip or read the transcript of an August 21 briefing from representatives of the CDC, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or click on a map that allows you to find out what’s happening in your state.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Regular updates and large amounts of information for health professionals.
  • World Health Organization: Information and guidance about swine flu across the world as well as in the U.S.

What is your facility doing to prepare for the upcoming flu season? Which Web sites do you go to for advice and helpful tips? How are you asking your nurses to prepare?

Editor’s note: Share your thoughts and comments on our blog, The Leaders’ Lounge.

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