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Health care providers and patients alike can be thankful that the challenges of the last few years were not compounded by an increase in influenza cases during the 2021-2022 season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the “severity of the 2021-22 influenza season was low, with two waves of influenza A activity.” The CDC suggests this may be because “the adoption of COVID-19–related mitigation measures might have had an impact on the timing or severity of influenza activity.”
Unfortunately, the data is now trending in the other direction. According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), “laboratory-confirmed flu hospitalizations reported to the CDC FluSurv-NET hospitalization network are the highest seen at this point of the season in 10 years.” Alarmingly, the NFID also notes that “individuals with chronic health conditions are at an increased risk for severe flu illness” this influenza season.
Patients depend upon their nurse practitioners (NP) to provide them with the facts about influenza and prevention, and as The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is here to equip you with the latest information and resources to track influenza outbreaks and tools to encourage vaccination.
This influenza season is a time to remind patients to get vaccinated, dispel myths about vaccination and lead by example.
Keep track of influenza on CDC’s webpage dedicated to flu updates and learn more about influenza through two continuing education (CE) activities offered by AANP. Influenza for the Primary Care NP highlights the importance of influenza vaccination, identifies tools to recruit patients to get their influenza vaccination and more. This activity offers 1.0 contact hours of CE credit, 0.5 of which may be applied toward pharmacology.
Influenza Prevention is an accredited AANP podcast activity, featuring a conversation between Ruth Carrico, PhD, DNP, FNP-C, CIC, FSHEA, FNAP, and Audrey M. Stevenson, PhD, MPH, MSN, FNP-BC, on the safety and efficacy of influenza vaccination and strategies to promote vaccination. This activity offers 0.75 hours of CE credit, 0.25 of which may be applied toward pharmacology.