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Influenza Continues To Affect The Population In Large Numbers

1821 words - 8 pages

the 2013-2014 flu season. As of February 8, 2014, an estimated 60% of hospital admissions as a result of ILI had transpired in people between the ages of 18-64. Additionally, 22% of documented ILI hospitalizations among women between the ages of 15-44 (childbearing age) had transpired among those who were pregnant. Results of the weekly report displayed significant levels of protection associated with vaccination in those 18-64. Initial calculations for the 2013-2014 flu season demonstrated that as of the middle of November, a mere 34% of persons between the ages of 18-64 had received the vaccine in comparison to 41% of young children (6 months-17). Among persons aged 65 and older 62% received the vaccine.6
Vaccine shortages frequently arise. In the event of this occurrence, antiviral drugs may suffice or be prescribed to patients as to replace the vaccine. Vaccination may not be recommended for individuals with specific health conditions, in such case antiviral drugs would be prescribed as well. Antiviral drugs are specifically designed for treatment of viral infections and avert transmission of the virus in the midst of an epidemic. Zanamivir, oseltamivir, amantadine, and rimantadinen display success when administered for prevention purposes within a community in which the communicable virus is susceptible to the medication. During the pandemic of 2009, antiviral drugs were utilized and proven effective in the prevention of laboratory confirmed influenza and secondary complications among patients in facilities providing long term care. Consequently, the effectiveness of antiviral drugs in the management of recognized outbreaks is supported by considerable proof noted in long term care facilities, particularly nursing homes. 1
Although, the effectiveness of influenza vaccines and antiviral therapy has been shown, some individuals lack insurance to obtain such preventive measures. A telephone survey was conducted in an effort to determine willingness to follow recommendations regarding preventive health behaviors in response to the H1N1 pandemic. Women between 18-24 and guardians of younger children were considerably more liable to adhere to advised health behaviors. However, individuals who were unemployed, poor, with a yearly income of $30,000 or less, or without qualifications in regards to education were appreciably more prone to embrace behaviors resulting in avoidance.7 Preventing influenza transmission and the development of ILI appears clear cut with the proven preventive techniques. However, there are numerous aspects associated with health related behaviors and perceptions that should be considered as well.
Researchers proposed a predictive model of unequal levels of influenza and mortality during a pandemic would be influenced by social factors. These determinants included crowded households, reliance on public transportation, and the inability to request time off from work. It was hypothesized that greater levels of crowding and...

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