Monday, October 25, 2010

IHS Launches Influenza Web Site

The Indian Health Service has launched an influenza surveillance and information-sharing Web site, according to a press release issued by the agency last week.

The site ( features information for health professionals on influenza activity in the United States along with information on IHS influenza surveillance activities, reports and educational resources specific to American Indian/Alaska Native people. It also contains links to influenza information for patients and the general public.

Flu season has already begun, although peak season typically runs from November through March. While not certain, as nothing ever is with flu seasons, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention says it is likely that the 2009 H1N1 viruses will continue to spread along with seasonal viruses in the United States during the 2010-2011 season.

American Indians/Alaska Natives have long experienced an influenza/pneumonia mortality rate that is nearly twice that of the general U.S. population.

The new site, aimed at decreasing the disparity, provides useful information on influenza prevention and treatment, including weekly influenza surveillance updates; vaccination resources, contacts and supplies; prevention guidance from the CDC; and the latest information on resources specific to Native people and the IHS.

There are downloadable brochures, fact sheets, articles and posters available for personal and educational use as well as links to podcasts, videos and public service announcements on seasonal influenza information.

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