2009-2010 Influenza Season Update #7

Information for Healthcare Providers Regarding Pregnant & Postpartum Women

Planning for 2nd Dose of H1N1 Vaccine for Children Age 6 Months to 9 Years

November 06, 2009

To: Obstetric Health care Providers, Vermont Healthcare Providers
From: Wendy Davis, MD, Commissioner of Health

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The Centers for Disease & Control (CDC) has provided updated and additional guidance for obstetric health care providers caring for pregnant and postpartum women. Pregnant women are at higher risk for severe complications and death from influenza, including both 2009 H1N1 influenza and seasonal influenza. Postpartum women, who are in transition to normal immune, cardiac, and respiratory function, should be considered to be at increased risk of influenza-related complications up to 2 weeks postpartum (including following pregnancy loss).

Surveillance of Severe Illness in Pregnant and Postpartum Women
Pregnant women represent 6 percent of confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza deaths in the United States, while only about 1 percent of the general population is pregnant at any given time. The Vermont Department of Health is working closely with CDC to monitor pregnant and postpartum women (up to 6 weeks postpartum) with severe influenza that have been hospitalized or who have died. Hospitals have been asked to report all laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations. The Health Department may be in touch with providers for additional information. Providers may also reach the Health Department’s Epidemiology Section by calling 802-863-7240.

CDC Pregnancy Flu Line for Providers
Providers may also report information on hospitalized or deceased pregnant or postpartum women (up to 6 weeks postpartum) directly to CDC by calling 404-368-2133. Providers with specific questions about critical or clinically complicated influenza cases involving pregnant or postpartum women can reach a board-certified obstetric provider (24/7) through this CDC flu line.

Current Guidance for Providers

2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccine and Pregnant Women: Information for Healthcare Providers: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/providers_qa.htm

Updated Interim Recommendations for Obstetric Healthcare Providers Related to Use of Antiviral Medications in the Treatment and Prevention of Influenza for the 2009-2010 Season: http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/pregnancy/antiviral_messages.htm

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NOTE: Planning for Second Dose of H1N1 Vaccine for Children (6 months to 9 years of age)

Vaccine that is readily available at practices should be used for administering the second dose of vaccination for patients in this age group.

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