Resumen en inglés Influenza is a serious health problem worldwide due to the epidemics and pandemics that it periodically causes. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the United States of America recently published updated recommendations for influenza prevention and control for the 2005-2006 season. Many of these guidelines are of interest to the countries of the Region of the Americas, particularly those related to vaccination, which is the mainstay for preventing a (mas) nd controlling this disease. Various changes have been made in the recommendations that were published in 2004. First, the ACIP recommends vaccination against influenza for persons with any condition (e.g., cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injury, seizure disorder, or other neuromuscular disorder) that can compromise respiratory function or make eliminating respiratory secretions difficult or that can increase the risk for aspiration. Second, the ACIP strongly recommends that all health care workers be vaccinated against influenza annually and encourages facilities that employ health care workers to vaccinate them by using approaches that maximize immunization rates. Third, the ACIP encourages the use of both available vaccines (inactivated and live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV)) for eligible persons every influenza season, especially persons in recommended target groups. When inactivated virus vaccine is in short supply, the use of LAIV is especially encouraged, if feasible, for eligible persons (including health care workers) because such use might considerably increase the availability of inactivated virus vaccine for persons in high-risk groups. Fourth, the 2005-06 trivalent vaccine virus strains are A/California/7/2004 (H3N2)-like, A/New Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1)-like, and B/Shanghai/361/2002-like antigens. For the A/California/7/2004 (H3N2)-like antigen, manufacturers may use the antigenically equivalent A/ New York/55/2004 virus, and for the B/Shanghai/361/2002-like antigen, manufacturers may use the antigenically equivalent B/Jilin/20/2003 virus or B/Jiangsu/10/2003 virus.
Resumen en inglés This piece summarizes a report that updates the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States of America with regard to the use of the influenza vaccine and of specific antiviral agents for influenza. The recommended 2002-2003 trivalent vaccine virus strains are A/Moscow/10/99 (H3N2)-like, A/New Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1)-like, and B/Hong Kong/330/2001-like. The piece defines the groups who should be vaccinated and the persons who sh (mas) ould not be, as well as adverse reactions to the vaccine. Influenza antivirals are a complement to--but not a replacement for--the vaccine in preventing and controlling the disease. The piece also analyzes for the antiviral agents the indications for their use, dosage, routes of administration, pharmacokinetic characteristics, interactions, and side effects.