Breaking Free from the Grasp of Seasonal Influenza: Key Diagnostic and Management Considerations on the Front Lines of Care

CME: 1.0

Program Overview

Every year, seasonal influenza is a significant cause of mortality among at-risk populations, elderly individuals, pregnant women, and children under 2 years of age. In light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, there is wide-spread apprehension regarding effective prevention and management of seasonal influenza during 2021-2022. Concurrent influenza and COVID-19 outbreaks could further critically overwhelm healthcare systems and drain resources, thereby exponentially increasing their burden. Therefore, overcoming existing and new barriers related to the best practice management of influenza is of high priority. Given that nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) can aid in reducing influenza-associated morbidity and mortality, it is crucial that these professionals are well-prepared to vaccinate, diagnose, and treat patients that are at risk for developing or have seasonal influenza.

This activity will address knowledge and competence gaps regarding the prevention and management of influenza and ensure that influenza outbreaks are not missed or ignored during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Articulate the role of vaccination in reducing the spread of influenza and improving patient outcomes while emphasizing the importance of vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Describe how to implement updated guidelines to differentially diagnose influenza in order to initiate early and appropriate therapy
  • Discuss how to utilize antiviral chemoprophylaxis in appropriate individuals at high risk of developing influenza and associated complications
  • Interpret existing and new evidence with traditional and new influenza treatments, including differences in efficacy and safety, dosage and administration, and reduction in disease burden and complications
  • Outline how to individualize flu treatment with antiviral medications among diverse patients

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