Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report – Articles of Interest

HHS Awards Contracts for Development of Advanced Influenza Tests
Press Release
Pandemic Flu Website
 
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Michael Leavitt recently announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded $12.9 million for the development of low cost influenza tests that can detect and differentiate seasonal human influenza viruses from avian influenza within three hours. These awards will support advanced development of laboratory influenza tests that could be performed in a hospital or a commercial laboratory and would expedite the diagnosis of large numbers of patients. The expanded testing capability would enhance the hospital laboratory based pandemic and seasonal flu diagnostic capacity in the United States.
 
GAO Report on Hospital Acquired Infections
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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report, Healthcare Associated Infections in Hospitals (Report GAO-08-673T), which recommends that the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) identify priorities among the recommended practices in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and establish greater consistency and compatibility of the data collected across HHS on Hospital Acquired Infections. The report examines 1) CDC’s guidelines to reduce or prevent hospital acquired infections (HAIs) and how HHS promotes guideline implementation; 2) the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other accrediting organizations’ required standards for hospitals to reduce or prevent HAIs, and 3) HHS programs that collect data related to HAIs and integration of the HAIs across HHS.

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