Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza: What Pharmacists Need to Know
Stephan L. Foster, PharmD, FAPhA*
At the peak of each influenza season, pharmacists are highly aware of the impact of the disease. Hardly a day goes by without an influenza-related newspaper story. Either the Washington Post reports that seasonal influenza vaccination cuts the risk of infection in children 2 years and older1 or a new outbreak of avian influenza H5N1 has been reported among turkeys in the United Kingdom.2
This issue of University of Tennessee Advanced Studies in Pharmacy summarizes a consensus meeting titled, “The Influenza Educational Initiative,” which was conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine on January 11, 2007. This meeting gathered a prestigious, multidisciplinary group of experts in pandemic influenza to establish a consensus about the processes that are necessary for hospitals, clinics, and private practices to develop a comprehensive plan to diagnose and treat patients if a pandemic influenza begins. These experts included Thomas Inglesby, MD, Deputy Director of the Center for Biosecurity, and Trish M. Perl, MD, MSc, from the Division of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins University, and other representatives from schools of medicine, medical centers, and public health agencies who are well recognized for their work in pandemic planning.
After completing this monograph, pharmacists should be better equipped to manage patients with seasonal influenza and be able to participate more knowledgably in efforts at their workplaces to plan for a potential pandemic influenza.
1. Billingsley J. Flu shot Cuts kids’ infection risk in half. Washington Post. March 6, 2007.
2. Cowell A. Deadly bird flu confirmed in British turkeys. New York Times. February 4, 2007.
The content in this monograph was developed with the assistance of a staff medical writer. Each author had final approval of his article and all its contents.
*CAPT (Retired), US Public Health Service, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, Memphis, Tennessee.
Address correspondence to: Stephan L. Foster, PharmD, FAPhA, CAPT (Retired), US Public Health Service, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, 910 Madison, Suite 324, Memphis, TN 38163. E-mail: email@example.com.