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Postexposure Evaluation and Follow-up

Course Number: 472

Healthcare-associated Exposure to Influenza Viruses

Influenza viruses are transmitted from person-to-person primarily by inhalation of airborne droplets generated by coughing or sneezing; less frequently by contact with freshly contaminated articles and environmental surfaces. It is strongly recommended that HCP be vaccinated annually.10,13 Antiviral drugs for PEP can be administered to unvaccinated HCP (1) during outbreaks of influenza, (2) following exposure to a person with influenza, or (3) after exposure to a strain against which vaccination is not protective.10

Oseltamivir is the preferred PEP agent. If oseltamivir is unavailable, oral baloxavir, inhaled zanamivir, or intravenous peramivir can be used for PEP.13 To better preserve medication availability, some authorities recommend against PEP and endorse watchful waiting and prompt treatment (within 2 days) only when signs and symptoms of infection appear.10