Infection prevention: The media backlash!

A couple news articles today are designed to generate annoying e-mails to tired infection preventionists….

The first story, from CNN, is really a non-story that takes the fact that influenza is a respiratory virus (that spreads, you know, from respiratory droplets) to insinuate that hand hygiene is not an effective flu prevention measure. Numerous experts are cited, not all of them say the same thing.

The second is a bigger deal, because it appears to already be affecting vaccine policy in at least one Canadian province. Apparently some Canadian studies have linked prior receipt of seasonal flu vaccine to an increased risk for H1N1 infection. The news account is here and I wish I could link to the study data—but it isn’t published and won’t be released by the investigators until it is peer-reviewed (then why leak it to the media, is my question…..). Tom Frieden had little to say about this issue at the CDC press conference, except that data from the U.S. and Australia have not shown such an association.


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