NCDMPH Influenza

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Influenza prevention

Influenza (flu) is an infectious viral disease that causes significant morbidity and mortality every year. Different strains of flu circulate annually, and the number and severity of cases can hinge on how well aligned the circulating strains are with that season's vaccine and on how likely the circulating strains are to cause severe disease. Influenza can place a significant burden on the healthcare system, as even in a year with average flu activity, doctor's visits and hospital admissions peak around flu season. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new (also known as “novel”) strain of flu enters the human population and spreads globally.

NCDMPH has gathered educational resources to foster resilience through learning. The organization of this content is intended to facilitate self-directed learning as well as provide materials for educators. This is an ongoing effort and we will continue to add to this list of resources. Help contribute to "a nation of resilient communities" by educating yourself and others on disaster health topics related to influenza.

Influenza Resources

Background & Health Impacts


-- Prevention --

CDC: Good Health Habits for Preventing Seasonal Flu(link is external)

CDC: Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs)(link is external)

CDC: Preventing Seasonal Flu With Vaccination(link is external)

CDC: Fluzone High-Dose Seasonal Influenza Vaccine (for People 65 Years of Age or Older)(link is external)

Carlos A. DiazGranados CA, Dunning AJ, Kimmel M, Kirby D, Treanor J, Collins A, Pollack R, Christoff J, Earl J, Landolfi V, Martin E, Gurunathan S, Nathan R, Greenberg DP, Tornieporth NG, Decker MD, Talbot HK. Efficacy of High-Dose versus Standard-Dose Influenza Vaccine in Older Adults(link is external). New England Journal of Medicine. 2014; 371:635-645.

CDC: Selecting the Viruses in the Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Vaccine(link is external)

CDC: Vaccine Effectiveness - How Well Does the Flu Vaccine Work?(link is external)

Tricco AC, Chit A, Soobiah C, Hallett D, Meier G, Chen MH, Tashkandi M, Bauch CT, Loeb M. Comparing influenza vaccine efficacy against mismatched and matched strains: a systematic review and meta-analysis(link is external). BMC Medicine. 2013; 11:153.

CDC: Pneumococcal Vaccination(link is external)

Shrestha S, Foxman B, Weinberger DM, Steiner C, Viboud C, Rohani P. Identifying the Interaction Between Influenza and Pneumococcal Pneumonia Using Incidence Data PDF . Science Translational Medicine. 2013; 5(191): 191ra84.


Healthcare Systems

Healthcare Workforce Preparedness

-- Healthcare Workforce Preparedness --

CDC: Information for Health Professionals(link is external)

HHS: Influenza Vaccination Information for Health Care Workers(link is external)

Stewart AM. Mandatory Vaccination of Health Care Workers(link is external). New England Journal of Medicine. 2009;361:2015-2017.

Babcock HM, Gemeinhart N, Jones M, Claiborne Dungan W, Woeltje KF. Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Workers: Translating Policy to Practice(link is external)Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2010;50(4):459-464.

History of Vaccines Blog by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia: Healthcare Worker Influenza Immunization: Mandates, Benefits, Consequences

Psychosocial Impact

Community Health

Learning Objectives & Activities - Influenza

Influenza - Ideas for Educators of Health Professionals

Below are ideas for educators who are teaching health professionals and may wish to develop learning content or activities related to health impacts of influenza. These ideas should be customized based on the learners, their needs, their scope of practice, and the educational context.

Options for Learning Objectives:

At the end of the learning activity, the learner will be able to:

  1. Explain how influenza impacts human health, especially in health systems, clinical, and public health dimensions.

  2. State ways in which health professionals can contribute to preparedness for and response to influenza given their scope.

  3. Critically analyze the multiple role-based expectations of health professionals in dealing with influenza cases or an influenza outbreak. Major role categories include:

    • individual

    • family (Including role as a significant other, caretaker of children, and/or caretaker of elderly family)

    • organization

    • profession

    • community

  4. Describe strategies for prevention and treatment of influenza.

Options for Learning Activities:

  1. Walk through the resources online during class and discuss their applicability and utility for the learner.

  2. Lead a class discussion about the health and systems impacts of influenza . Possible discussion questions are:

    • Describe the symptoms and levels of severity associated with influenza..

    • What are the public health implications of influenza ?

    • What effects might influenza have on different health systems, such as hospitals, EMS, and healthcare coalitions?

    • What information should health professionals provide for preventing transmission, seeking care in a healthcare setting, caring for ill loved ones, or self-care?

  3. Ask learners to respond to the following question, either verbally or in writing: How can you as a health professional, within your scope of practice, contribute to the preparedness for and response to influenza?

  4. In the context of dealing with influenza cases or an influenza outbreak, consider the following:

    • What do you expect of yourself?

    • What does your family (significant others) expect of you?

    • What does your organization expect of you?

    • What does your profession expect of you?

    • What does the community expect of you?

  5. Invite learners to work in small groups to draft a public service announcement for your county on actions citizens should take to reduce illness in the event of an influenza outbreak.

  6. Invite a member of another response professional group to discuss interprofessional coordination and collaboration necessary in response to an influenza outbreak. Discuss barriers to such interprofessional coordination and collaboration.

  7. As a group, identify a population that is particularly vulnerable to adverse health effects due to influenza. Develop strategies that could be implemented to protect their well-being during the flu season. What professions or organizations in your local community could participate in this effort?