Image – H1N1 Influenza Virus
Last week, in anticipation of the beginning of ‘regular’ flu season in the Northern hemisphere and the public health concerns over the pandemic spread of H1N1 influenza worldwide, it seemed logical to add a news-feed to the EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC blog from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for current news, advisories and practical information about Pandemic Flu (H1N1).
Flu.gov is open and available for anyone in the world to access at no cost, in English or Spanish language versions. The focus of the CDC website is on incidence of influenza among Americans, but there are also links to current information about H1N1 posted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other sources.
A section of Flu.gov is dedicated to the information needs of clinical care providers (or medical students), and is titled “For Professionals“. Below is a screenshot of that page:
Here are several links which might be of particular interest for professional (and amateur) epidemiologists. First: an excerpt of text found on the FluView page: ” Each week CDC analyzes information about influenza disease activity in the United States and publishes findings of key flu indicators in a report called FluView. ”
Next: true news junkies will appreciate the many updates found on the CDC H1N1: What’s New? page.
Third: Disease transmission through public or private school populations is of special concern worldwide. Dated Aug 25 2009, here is a link to an online document summarizing Vaccines Advisory for Specific Population Groups (i.e., infants, children enrolled in schools K-12, college-age students, etc.). Another recent advisory of interest to administrators of institutions of higher education (abbreviated IHE), such as the “CDC Guidance for Responses to Influenza for Institutions of Higher Education during the 2009-2010 Academic Year“.
CDC Podcasts are available on many different topics; here’s a link to one written specifically for children entitled “All You Have to Do is Wash Your Hands“.
Lastly, here are some links to other sources for information on the 2009 H1N1 pandemic (in no particular order):
- Eurosurveillance is “an open-access peer-reviewed journal about infectious diseases surveillance prevention and control in Europe. Over 14,000 readers around the world subscribe to our weekly online edition, which is published every Thursday…. “.
- The goal of HealthMap is to ” bring together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. This freely available Web site integrates outbreak data of varying reliability, ranging from news sources (such as Google News) to curated personal accounts (such as ProMED) to validated official alerts (such as World Health Organization) “
- An entry from Wikipedia – “2009 Flu Pandemic by Country” – features many maps for reported incidences shown both by country and continent (but note: their data lags behind that reported by other international public health sites).
- Public Health Agency of Canada provides current links to the spread of the disease throughout the country; their FluWatch interactive maps are useful (screenshot shown below):
Finally, UCHC library users can search GIDEON, a subscription database (note: Proxy access required from off-campus). Why is GIDEON a unique resource for epidemiologists, researchers, students and public health administrators? Here is an excerpt from their “About” page:
“ GIDEON is made up of four modules: Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Therapy and Microbiology. The database includes 337 diseases, 224 countries, 1,147 microbial taxa and 306 antibacterial (-fungal, -parasitic, -viral) agents and vaccines… Data sources include the entire world’s literature and adhere to the standards of Evidence Based Medicine… There are 20,000 images, graphs, interactive maps and reference updates “.
An earlier post about H1N1 on this blog (May 7 2009) can be read here.
Note: Here is a link to a free 4-page H1N1 patient-education pamphlet from BMJ Clinical Evidence.