CDC asks for public comment on H1n1 guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control recently asked for the public to comment on its new guidance for preventing transmission of influenza in health care settings, as well the replacement for its interim guidance for H1N1.

The CDC hopes to consolidate several existence-based strategies, which can be found throughout its Web site, into a single and complete document. The CDC believes the update is necessary because the risk of death and hospitalization from H1N1 is now known to be lower than was previously thought. There is also now a safe and effective vaccine for H1N1 that will be included as part of the 2010-2011 trivalent vaccine, reports.

The public is encouraged to email their comments and suggestions to the CDC at through July 22.

The new guidance stresses the need to vaccinate health care workers as well as patients in order to stop the spread of the disease. It also contains more than twelve recommendations and preventative strategies, including implementing respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, enacting environmental and engineering infection control measures and adhering to infection control precautions.

According to CDC statistics, up to 20 percent of Americans fall ill with influenza every year. Of these, 200,000 are hospitalized with influenza related complications.