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2009-10 Influenza (Flu) Season

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CDC carries out and collaborates with outside partners to assess the effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccines. During the 2009-10 season, CDC is planning multiple studies on the effectiveness of the seasonal influenza vaccine and the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. These studies will measure vaccine effectiveness in preventing laboratory-confirmed seasonal and 2009 H1N1 influenza infections in children, pregnant women, health care workers, and adults.

What is CDC doing to monitor antiviral resistance in the United States during the 2009-10 season?

Antiviral resistance means that a virus has changed in such a way that antiviral drugs are less effective in treating or preventing illnesses caused by the virus. Samples of viruses collected from around the United States and worldwide are studied to determine if they are resistant to any of the four FDA-approved influenza antiviral drugs.

CDC routinely collects viruses through a domestic and global surveillance system to monitor for changes in influenza viruses. CDC will continue ongoing surveillance and testing of seasonal influenza viruses and 2009 H1N1 influenza viruses to check for antiviral resistance. Recently, CDC has implemented enhanced surveillance across the United States to detect oseltamivir resistance in 2009 H1N1 viruses. CDC also is working with the state public health departments and the World Health Organization to collect additional information on antiviral resistance in the United States and worldwide. The information collected will assist in making informed public health policy recommendations.

What actions can I take to protect myself and my family against both seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu this year?

CDC recommends a yearly seasonal flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu. While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine protects against the three main seasonal flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. The seasonal flu vaccine can protect you from getting sick from these three viruses or it can make your illness milder if you get a related flu virus. The seasonal flu vaccine will not provide protection against the new H1N1 influenza. However a 2009 H1N1 vaccine is currently being made. The 2009 H1N1 vaccine is not intended to replace the seasonal flu vaccine – it is intended to be used along-side seasonal flu vaccine.

In addition, there are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand rub*can be used.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

What flu antiviral drugs does CDC recommend in the United States for the 2009-10 season?

WebMD Public Information from the CDC

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