To prepare for the 2019 flu season it is important to get immunized. In 2019 a tetravalent (four-virus) vaccine is available in a number of forms including an egg-free formulation that is for people who have egg allergies. The talk delineates populations who are highest priority for flu vaccine as well as age-appropriate guidelines for the general population. It also is important to understand the symptoms and signs of flu – and how flu is transmitted – in order to take appropriate action to prevent spread of flu virus should one become infected
We must also be prepared for a possible flu pandemic, which occurs infrequently but can happen in any year when a new strain of flu emerges. Since flu pandemics are unpredictable it is important to have in place global capacity to monitor and investigate “novel” flu cases. The talk describes the stages of a flu pandemic and actions that are taken at each stage. Vaccines would not initially be available and in the case of a major pandemic transmission might be controlled via measures such as closing schools and workplaces and reducing travel.
1. Understand the basics of influenza virus infection in terms of virus types; signs and symptoms indicative of flu infection; and the differences between seasonal and pandemic flu.
2. Understand the steps that can be taken to prevent seasonal influenza via immunization and other actions, and the availability of age-specific as well as egg-free flu vaccines in 2019.
3. Understand how flu pandemics arise, pandemic stages and measures that are taken to control pandemics at various stages.